UBCIC Congratulates Squamish Nation on BC Court of Appeal Decision to Send TMX back for Environmental Approval

News Release
September 17, 2019

UBCIC Congratulates Squamish Nation on BC Court of Appeal Decision to Send TMX back for Environmental Approval

(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – September 17, 2019) Today, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) celebrates the significant blow that has been dealt to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX). The BC Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the Squamish Nation, determining that the Provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate issued for the TMX was premised on the fundamentally flawed National Energy Board Report, thereby necessitating the Province to reconsider the environmental conditions and approval issued for the TMX.

“Premier Horgan has publicly vowed that BC will use ‘every tool in the toolbox’ to stop the TMX. UBCIC would like to thank the BC Court of Appeal for handing the Province the large hammer needed to help nail the coffin shut around a project that would be lethal for endangered southern resident orcas and the lands and waters. The decision to send the TMX back for environmental re-assessment is a giant roadblock that may permanently halt this project,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC.

Chief Don Tom, Vice-President of the UBCIC, added: “The TMX poses unacceptable risks to the environment, including increased tanker traffic and greenhouse gas emissions It is absolutely paramount in moving forward with the Province’s environmental review of the TMX and the revised Environmental Assessment Act that First Nations whose territories are encroached upon by the pipeline have their Title and Rights respected. Canada must consult and engage with all impacted First Nations regarding the environmental reconsideration and allow them to unimpededly exercise and defend their inherent rights.”

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary Treasurer of the UBCIC, concluded: “It is timely that the court’s decision comes on the heels of the 12th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This anniversary marks a time where resource extraction and corporate interests on a national and global scale are threatening the welfare and rights of Indigenous peoples. We urge the Province, as they reconsider the TMX’s environmental conditions, to align their actions and policies with the core principles of the UN Declaration. Our sovereignty and our right to conserve and protect our ancestral lands, waters, and territories must be acknowledged and respected. Indigenous Nations continue to win major court victories that uphold our inherent Title and Rights, and we will continue defending our lands and waters in whatever way necessary.”

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Media inquiries:

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, UBCIC: 250-490-5314  
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, UBCIC: 604-290-6083
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, UBCIC: 250-320-7738

UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

For more information please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca

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