It announced the decision in a statement on Thursday afternoon, shortly after holding a hearing on the case.
The Supreme Court of Canada in OttawaThe Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday quickly dismissed an attempt by the western province of British Columbia to regulate what can be transported in a major crude oil pipeline crossing its territory.
Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan welcomed the ruling, saying it is a core responsibility of the federal government to help get resources to market and support good, middle-class jobs. The court also noted while B.C. was trying to portray the legislation as a general change to its environment laws, it was clearly targeting the Trans Mountain expansion, since that was the only project to which the changes would apply.
The Supreme Court decision upholds a B.C. Court of Appeal ruling that said such permits would violate Ottawa's authority under the Constitution to approve and regulate pipelines that cross provincial boundaries.
In 2018, it asked the B.C. Court of Appeal if such permits were in bounds.
"Environmental protection should be a "quasi-constitutional" principle", said Harry Wruck, a lawyer with EcoJustice.
Later past year the B.C. court told the government it should reconsider its stance on the project, which is the only pipeline project that has received the approval of the federal Canadian government.
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In 2018, Morneau led the government of Canada's negotiations to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project from Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. for $4.5 billion. The company said the political risk that the project would never get built was too much to bear and was planning to halt the expansion.
The quick resolution of the case is a major positive for the 590,000-barrels-per-day Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which is now under construction between Edmonton and Vancouver.
The pipeline project, which would roughly double the existing pipeline's expansion, would carried bitumen from Alberta's tar sands to a terminal in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Though the fossil fuel industry and Alberta government cheered the development, not all obstacles have been removed; the expansion project still faces a legal challenge from Indigenous groups.
Though construction is underway, other barriers to the project include a legal dispute on the federal level from Indigenous communities who feel they were not properly consulted before the project's approval.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney took immediately to Twitter to express gratitude for the court decision Thursday. "We are very pleased with this outcome and look forward to construction continuing on the Trans Mountain Pipeline".