“Papal Bull” continues to piss on Reconciliation in Canada! Yet another white privileged court ruling unanimously pissing on Indigenous Rights. I am horrified to be Canadian.

“Shame! All of you!”

Rosemary Baxter protested last night where BC Premier John Horgan, UNDRIP violator, was having a party with members of his Wet’suwet’en rights-violating gov’t.

The Wet’suwet’en are again facing invasion and arrests on their lands (unceded) by Canada’s bullying lying RCMP, shamefully serving Coastal GasLink instead of the Canadians who pay their salaries and expenses because of another white privileged court ruling.

Rosemary’s poster for the protest (in the photo below) is being held by her daughter Jen’s cane. Jen died of early onset Parkinsons two and a half years ago. The print on the wall beside Rosemary’s poster is of a painting by George Littlechild of – how fitting – the RCMP meeting with a Chief.

Must Watch!

One of the comments:

High Spirits Farm
Everyone NEEDS to see this. Well done

Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen lands, Strong Hearts 1:06:19 Min. by General Synod, April 11, 2019

This film is one of the responses of the Anglican Church’s Primate’s Commission on discovery reconciliation and justice. The purpose of this film is to respond to the calls to action by helping to provide education and insight into the racist foundations of many of our property and other laws still in existence to this day.

With legal challenges to Trans Mountain exhausted, is civil disobedience next? Indigenous groups and aligned environmentalists opposed to the pipeline reiterated Tuesday that they’re committed to blocking the project by Geoffrey Morgan, February 5, 2020, National Post in Calgary Herald

… “We always said we’d do what it takes to stop this pipeline,” said Rueben George, manager of the TWN Sacred Trust and a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, one of three First Nations that filed the legal challenge.

“We will take steps to make sure that Canada stays the way it is,” George said at a press conference that included chiefs and elected councillors from all the Indigenous groups involved in the case.

The Federal Court of Appeal Tuesday dismissed the case filed by Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, Squamish First Nation and Coldwater Indian Band, who argued the federal government failed to properly consult on the $10 billion oil pipeline which would pass through their territories.

It was the second such appeal by the opposed Indigenous groups of the pipeline. But where they won their first appeal in August 2018, this time the appeals court found the government had consulted properly.

Those Indigenous groups and aligned environmentalists opposed to the pipeline reiterated Tuesday that they’re committed to blocking the project.

George said the decision would be appealed to the Supreme Court.

We are deeply disappointed with the decision today but, as stated earlier, this is but one step available to us,” said Dustin Rivers, a spokesperson for and elected member of the Squamish Nation Council.

“B.C. has a long history of civil disobedience,” he added.

First Nations have 60 days to file an appeal.

It’s unclear whether the Supreme Court will be willing to hear an appeal given the sharp wording of the decision, which was rendered unanimously and ordered the Indigenous groups to pay compensation to the defendants — the federal government, Canada Energy Regulator as well as Alberta and Saskatchewan.

… Construction work in Alberta and at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C. has been underway for months.

Public opinion in the Lower Mainland is divided over the project, said Simon Fraser University professor Shahin Dashtgard, who passes by the construction on the oil terminal on Burnaby Mountain every day.

“There are a substantial number of people that are either OK with it, or don’t have an opinion,” Dashtgard said, though he noted that polling consistently shows that between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of the population in the Vancouver region are opposed to the project and this could provide “a source of people” to protest the project.

… Public opinion in the Lower Mainland is divided over the project, said Simon Fraser University professor Shahin Dashtgard, who passes by the construction on the oil terminal on Burnaby Mountain every day.

“We have a country that believes in the rule of law and this was taken to the highest courts,” Dashtgard said. [Really? Which law? White Privileged Law? Indigenous Law? We don’t have just access to the law in Canada! Citizens are mostly abused by it with nearly all Canadians unable to afford to even try to access the legal system, never mind try to open the endless grossly unjust legal doors slammed shut in your face that are clearly only opened for polluting and law-violating oil and gas companies, not ordinary Canadians, and especially not families harmed by those companies]

A ramp-up in construction on the project is expected later this year.

Trans Mountain Corp. filed an updated construction schedule on Monday with the Canada Energy Regulator that showed the Crown corporation would begin “clearing and pipeline construction” in the Kamloops, B.C. area in March. The company has already been putting pipe in the ground in Alberta, and has been welding those pipes together since the end of 2019.

… Tuesday’s decision does dismiss the idea that all of the concerns of Indigenous communities need to be resolved before a project can be approved.

“If we accepted those submissions, as a practical matter there would be no end to consultation, the project would never be approved, and the applicants would have a de facto veto right over it,” the decision reads.

Still, there is a specific area in which the appeals court decision might allow for a successful appeal to the Supreme Court, said University of Calgary assistant law professor David Wright.

“The court makes comments on the interplay between the duty to consult and the infringement analysis,” Wright said, adding that “there’s a lack of clarity in the law” between those two legal principles.

“This case is interesting because the court is speaking to that foggy area directly. It’s too early to say how good of a job they’ve done,” Wright said, adding that’s one area where the Supreme Court might be willing to listen to an appeal, even though the appeals court ruling was unanimous.

First Nations Vow to Fight on after Trans Mountain Defeat, Federal court rejects argument consultation was inadequate. ‘Reconciliation stopped today,’ says representative by Andrew MacLeod, Feb 4, 2020, TheTyee.ca

The Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed an application from First Nations seeking to overturn the government’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion because they had not been adequately consulted.

While pipeline supporters applauded the court’s decision, opponents — including representatives of the First Nations involved in the challenge — promised the fight will continue both inside and outside the legal system.

“The applicants’ submissions are essentially that the Project cannot be approved until all of their concerns are resolved to their satisfaction,” Justices Marc Noël, J.D. Denis Pelletier and J.B. Laskin wrote in their unanimous reasons for judgment released today.

“If we accepted those submissions, as a practical matter there would be no end to consultation, the Project would never be approved, and the applicants would have a de facto veto right over it,” it said.

The application was filed by the Coldwater Indian Band, Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation along with the Aitchelitz, Skowkale, Shxwhá:y Village, Soowahlie, Squiala First Nation, Tzeachten and Yakweakwioose.

The respondents were the Canadian attorney general, Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC and Trans Mountain Corporation. The attorneys general for Alberta and Saskatchewan intervened, as did the Canadian Energy Regulator (formerly known as the National Energy Board).

The $7.4-billion project, already under construction, will twin an existing 1,150-kilometre pipeline from near Edmonton to Burnaby, tripling capacity to 890,000 barrels per day.

The expansion has been strongly opposed by the Indigenous governments challenging it in court, as well as by local governments, environmental groups and individuals. More than 200 people have been arrested protesting construction in the Lower Mainland, including former Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May and now Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, cases that have led to charges in many cases and proceeded through the court system.

In a 2018 ruling, the court had found that the federal government’s original decision to approve the expansion of the pipeline, which it now owns after buying it from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion, was based on an “impermissibly under-inclusive” environmental assessment and a failure by the Crown to fulfil its duty to consult with Indigenous peoples.

Today’s decision found the consultation process launched after that ruling has been sufficient, justifying the subsequent federal government approval.

“Contrary to what the applicants assert, this was anything but a rubber-stamping exercise,” the justices ruled. “The end result was not a ratification of the earlier approval, but an approval with amended conditions flowing directly from the renewed consultation.”

“It is true that the applicants are of the view that their concerns have not been fully met, but to insist on that happening is to impose a standard of perfection, a standard not required by law.” [Galling, incredibly disrespectful and unreasonable of the judges]

Trans Mountain Corporation welcomed the ruling. “After many years of consultation and review we are pleased to be able to continue moving forward and building the Project in respect of communities, and for the benefit of Canadians,” [The project does not benefit Canadians; it only benefits a few rich foreign entities while significantly risking the common good, and knowingly harming many] President and CEO Ian Anderson said in an emailed statement.

“The Government of Canada’s additional Indigenous consultation represented an immense undertaking by many parties. The Government was committed to a specific and focused dialogue with affected Indigenous communities to ensure Canada, and the Company heard their concerns and responded.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney tweeted “Another win on the #TMX pipeline for Alberta! Pleased to see this unanimous decision by the Federal Court of Appeal to reject this challenge. Now let’s get it built.”

Representatives of the First Nations involved in the case expressed deep disappointment with the ruling during a news conference in Vancouver but said the fight will continue.

“Disappointing as it is, it’s one step,” said Tsleil-Waututh elected Chief Leah George-Wilson. “We have far longer to go in this journey.”

“We’ll continue to fight to enforce our jurisdiction within our territories,” said Khelsilem, a Squamish Nation elected councillor, stressing the continued right to self-determination on unceded lands.

While there are legal options to continue the fight, he said, it’s worth remembering B.C.’s long history of civil disobedience in support of environmental causes. “There are a lot of people who are willing to do a lot to defend our coast and defend our communities.”

The applicants have 60 days to review the decision and decide whether to appeal it to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Several speakers pointed out that the federal government’s drive to complete the pipeline expansion is at odds with its stated goals of reconciliation with Indigenous people and action on the climate crisis. The pipeline will carry bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands to be exported by tanker from Burnaby.

“Reconciliation stopped today,” said Rueben George, a spokesperson for the Sacred Trust Initiative of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “This government is incapable of making sound decisions for our future generations.” …

Federal Court of Appeal dismisses First Nations’ Trans Mountain pipeline expansion challenge by ATPN National News with files from The Canadian Press, February 4, 2020

In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed a challenge to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project by several First Nations.

“Government of Canada has adequately fulfilled its duty to consult with Indigenous peoples,” the court said in its ruling.

“The court focused on the reasonableness of Cabinet’s decision to approve the Project a second time, specifically Cabinet’s conclusion that the Government of Canada had remedied the flaws in the consultation earlier identified by this Court and had engaged in adequate and meaningful consultation with Indigenous peoples.”

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, Coldwater Indian Band and a coalition of seven Stó:lō villages filed court challenges after the federal government approved the project a second time last June.

A court hearing in December focused on the government’s consultation with First Nations between August 2018 and June 2019.

The consultation took place after the Court of Appeal struck down the first project approval in August 2018 in part because of insufficient dialogue with Indigenous groups.

At the hearing last month, the coalition argued that the government came into the consultations having predetermined the outcome.

The federal government responded that consultations were meaningful, saying that instead of just listening and recording the concerns it heard, it also incorporated them into broader programs to protect the environment.

“The Court found this to be a reasonable conclusion based on, among other things, the evidence in the record, the law concerning duty to consult, the legislation governing project approvals and the justification offered by Cabinet for its approval,” the court said.

“The Court found that the decision approving the Project was not a ratification of the earlier approval, but an approval with amended conditions flowing directly from the renewed consultation.”

The project is to triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline to carry diluted bitumen and refined products from Alberta’s oilsands to a shipping terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

Chief Lee Spahan of the Coldwater Indian Band said in a statement an appeal to the Supreme Court is under consideration.

He also said his band must still be consulted on the route the expansion will take, with the approved route passing an aquifer that is the only source of drinking water for 320 people living on the main Coldwater reserve.

The band wants the route moved away from the aquifer.

The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs hosted a news conference in Vancouver to react to the ruling.

“UBCIC strongly disagrees with the decision released today and continues to stand by the Indigenous Nations who put forth their legal challenges to defend their right to free, prior and informed consent,” said UBCIC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip in a statement. “The court’s ruling rests upon discriminatory and hypocritical foundations; their rejection of the Nations’ appeal rests on the claim that when it comes to a project of public interests, ‘the law does not require the interests of Indigenous peoples prevail,’ and that Indigenous peoples cannot veto projects such as the TMX.

“Let me make clear that Indigenous peoples are not seeking a veto. We are seeking to have our human rights upheld.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government purchased the pipeline and related infrastructure for $4.5 billion in 2018 and construction of the expansion is underway.

“Today’s ruling affirms that the Government of Canada’s renewed consultations with Indigenous communities addressed the issues identified by the Federal Court of Appeal in its August 2018 decision,” said Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan in a statement released after the decision was announced. “This was a responsibility the Government of Canada took very seriously, and it is work the government did in partnership with Indigenous communities.

“The result was the most comprehensive consultation ever undertaken for a major project in Canada’s history.”

The four First Nations involved now have 60 days to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Refer also to:

Recognizing multiple legal systems: Decolonizing our understandings of “The” Law with Val Napoleon, indigenous scholar and law professor, being reminded to never think of Canada legal system as “the only” legal system.

2019 12 28: Documentary filmmaker counters RCMP’s attempt to discredit Guardian story about Gidimt’en raid

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