The Trudeau Liberals are facing a challenge in the Federal Court of Appeal for allegedly failing to consult with Indigenous communities on the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
Despite knowledge of the latest court challenge, the Liberals did nothing to counter the claims made by the challengers. No documentation or evidence was ever submitted by Ottawa, forcing the court to provide written reasons for their approvals.
“At this time, however, the respondents have withheld their evidence and legal submissions on these points. So the analysis cannot progress further,” wrote Justice David Stratas.
The new challenge will place the government back in court to defend the pipeline taxpayers paid $4.5 billion for.
Despite the challenge, Natural Resources Minister Amerjeet Sohi was adamant that the pipeline construction will be completed by 2022.
“This project is moving forward and will be completed by the middle of 2022,” said Sohi.
Earlier this month, the highest court of appeal in Canada granted a hearing for six out of 12 challenges to the federal government’s decision to proceed on constructing the pipeline.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the project earlier this year claiming that the Liberals had succeeded where the Harper Conservatives had not by properly consulting with Indigenous communities.
Along with the Liberal inaction with regard to a court challenge to the pipeline’s approval, the party’s choice in declaring an anti-oil candidate has raised some concerns among Canadians.
In July, it was revealed that the Liberals nominated environmental activist and opponent to pipelines, Steven Guilbeault for the riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie, Quebec.
Furthermore, in 2017, Trudeau was quoted as saying that he sought to “phase-out” the energy sector and end oil sand development for good.
“We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Trudeau.
Trudeau has recently been faced with several protests on both sides of the debate.
However, according to a recent poll by Angus Reid, the majority of Canadians want the next federal government to complete the Trans Mountain Pipeline rather than stop it.