Rio Tinto Alcan
"This case really does represent a situation where you have a regulator that has gotten too close to a powerful and well-resourced private interest that it is supposed to be independently regulating," said Chris Tollefson, lawyer for the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre.
Eight First Nations including the Haisla, the Nak'azdli and Gitxaala Nations have launched a legal challenge against the pipeline on the basis of inadequate consultation.
"Basically for the last year or so we've watched more and more information be denied to us intervenors in the National Energy Board process."
"In the lawsuit filed today, we argue that due to fundamental flaws in the JRP's report, Cabinet was deprived of the legal authority to make a final decision on the pipeline," Chris Tollefson, ELC executive director and lawyer for BC Nature, said.
Not even a month has passed since the federally-appointed Joint Review Panel (JRP) released its official report recommending approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline, pending the fulfillment of 209 conditions. Yet already two separate suits have been filed against the integrity of the report, with groups requesting that the federal cabinet delay a final decision on the pipeline project until the Federal Court of Appeal can assess the complaints.