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Appeals court orders Ottawa to renegotiate terms for Trans Mountain

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled against Kinder Morgan Canada and the federal government in relation to the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Tuesday's ruling states the federal government failed in its legal obligation to act in the best interests of the Coldwater Indian Band when it neglected to modernise the terms of a 1952 decision that allowed Kinder Morgan to use Coldwater's reserve for the pipeline.

The existing Trans Mountain Pipeline was constructed through the reserve in 1952.

At the time, the band received a one time payment of CAN$1292.

The ruling states the minister of Indigenous affairs failed to ensure the terms authorising Kinder Morgan's use of the reserve were updated from the outdated terms of 1952.

Trans Mountain spokesperson Ali Hounsell commented that the ruling changes little for the company. "The Court's decision does not affect the day-to-day operations of the Trans Mountain Pipeline nor the Trans Mountain Expansion Project," she wrote. 

The ruling raises new questions about the fate of Kinder Morgan Inc.'s federally approved plan to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Now Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Northern Affairs, must make a "redetermination" on the easement before Kinder Morgan can boost the flow of the pipeline as part of its expansion project.

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