Despite a court decision Thursday to overturn the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion’s approval, not all hope is lost according to a University of Saskatchewan law professor.
“There’s some real complexities to it,” Dwight Newman said Friday.
The court ruling stated not enough meaningful consultation was done with Indigenous groups and the National Energy Board (NEB) failed to explore the impact of the pipeline expansion on marine traffic.
“What the court says was the main failure was just the execution on the law and actually fulfilling what the law required,” Newman said.
According to the law professor, it means Ottawa can go back and do more consultation and the NEB can take a targeted look at marine traffic without another full review.
Another option for the federal government to move the project along is legislative changes.
“It would be entirely open to the government to change the statutes in response and to legislate a path forward,” Newman said of the decision on the NEB review.
“The part about consultation is a lot trickier to deal with through legislation and maybe not possible.”
Newman, who is also the Canadian research chair in Indigenous rights, said the federal government has another issue to consider going forward: conflict of interest.
The Canadian government bought the project from Kinder Morgan.