The Supreme Court of Canada has declined to hear five challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The challenges from five BC groups determined to stop the project were all told on Thursday the Supreme Court will not hear the cases, which had been dismissed by the Federal Court of Appeal in September.

Behind the challenge were the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, B.C. Nature, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and a group of young climate activists.

The groups argued that the federal government’s July 2019 approval of the pipeline expansion did not properly consult with Indigenous people.

Twelve groups initially challenged the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion with the Federal Court of Appeal in 2019, but in September the court only allowed six to partially proceed.

After the Federal Court of Appeal ultimately dismissed those six challenges, five of the groups asked the Supreme Court to review their cases: these appeals were denied.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, once constructed, will add a second pipeline onto the existing path from Edmonton to Burnaby.

In 2018, the Federal Court of Appeal rejected cabinet approval for Trans Mountain, saying the government did not do enough consultation with Indigenous people.

After another round of consultations, cabinet approved Trans Mountain again in July, 2019. The five groups all argued that the government still did not do enough consultation.

Alberta Attorney General Doug Schweitzer said the decision by the Supreme Court comes at an important time for Canada.

“It’s another positive step to development, to making sure we get this pipe built. It’s critical to have that here in Canada, so we’re encouraged by that,” he said.

“The bigger concern that we have is ensuring that the rule of law is upheld. The last few weeks, we’ve seen a bunch of social disorder across our entire country. We want to make sure that the Trans Mountain pipeline is built.“

Trans Mountain, which has already begun construction of the expansion, thanked the Supreme Court for its decision in a statement.

“After many years of consultation, reviews and approvals, we will continue to move forward and build the expansion project in respect of communities and for the benefit of Canadians,” the company said.

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