Equipment located at the Lower Dyke, currently being used by Coastal Gaslink as a key access point for pipeline installation. June 21, 2020. Photo by Clare Rayment.

Equipment located at the Lower Dyke, currently being used by Coastal Gaslink as a key access point for pipeline installation. June 21, 2020. Photo by Clare Rayment.

Environmental Assessment Office disputes Wet’suwet’en interpretation of legislation as Supreme Court hearing continues

The Office of the Wet’suwet’en is trying to stop Coastal GasLink’s certificate from being extended

Arguments over the extension of the environmental assessment certificate for a controversial natural gas pipeline resumed today in British Columbia Supreme Court.

Lawyers for the Office of the Wet’suwet’en are seeking an order quashing the decision to extend the certificate for Coastal GasLink’s 670-kilometre pipeline project.

They are arguing in part that B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office did not meaningfully address the findings of the 2019 report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls when it approved the extension.

They said on Thursday the Environmental Assessment Office has the power to attach new conditions when it extends a certificate according to provisions under B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Act.

Counsel for the Environmental Assessment Office disputed their interpretation of the legislation today, telling the court that its executive director already has the power to amend the conditions of a certificate outside the scope of an extension application.

Karrie Wolfe also argued that quashing the extension of Coastal GasLink’s certificate could leave the pipeline that’s under construction in northern B.C. in a “vacuum,” since the original certificate expired last October.

If the decision is quashed, she said there would be no certificate to attach conditions to.

Caily DiPuma, counsel for the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, suggested an alternative remedy could be an interim injunction pausing construction until the assessment office reconsiders its decision.

Lawyers for Coastal GasLink are set to appear later today.

The Office of the Wet’suwet’en is a non-profit society governed by several hereditary chiefs whose opposition to the pipeline sparked countrywide protests in February. Five elected Wet’suwet’en band councils have signed agreements with the company approving construction.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coastal GasLinkIndigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

(Black Press file photo)
Charges laid against two suspects in pre-Christmas home invasion

An 88-year-old woman was hospitalized after being bear-sprayed in the face Dec. 18, 2020

Liam and Tyler Spaans, (L-R), are two of the current lifeguards at the Houston Leisure Facility. (Houston Leisure Services file photo)
Leisure facility anticipates need for lifeguards

Has been challenged in the past

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read