B.C. Supreme Court hands an­other set­back to pipe­line

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

VAN­COU­VER — An al­liance of First Na­tions is cel­e­brat­ing a Bri­tish Columbia Supreme Court rul­ing that it says could set back the North­ern Gate­way pipe­line by years and throw a wrench into an­other high-pro­file pro­ject re­view. The case was brought for­ward by the Gitga’at First Na­tion and Coastal First Na­tions, which rep­re­sents nine abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties along B.C.’s north­ern and cen­tral coast, in­clud­ing the Gitg’aat. At the cen­tre of the chal­lenge was an equiv­a­lency agree­ment in which Bri­tish Columbia gave the Na­tional En­ergy Board the power to re­view the con­tro­ver­sial pipe­line pro­posal. The court found the prov­ince “breached the hon­our of the Crown” by fail­ing to con­sult with the Gitga’at and Coastal First Na­tions. That means the equiv­a­lency agree­ment is in­valid and the prov­ince must make its own de­ci­sion on North­ern Gate­way — af­ter con­sult­ing with and ac­com­mo­dat­ing First Na­tions along the route.

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