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Legal Backgrounder – What are the Northern Gateway Court Challenges About?

Subject(s): 
Summary Of The applicants’ written arguments in the legal challenges to the Enbridge Northern Gateway approval
Author(s): 
Gavin Smith, Justine Desmond
Summary: 
The eighteen legal challenges to the federal government’s approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers project are scheduled to be heard together in Vancouver this October, setting the stage for a historic legal battle to protect the environment and Aboriginal rights. West Coast Environmental Law staff counsel Gavin Smith and student volunteer Justine Desmond explain the main arguments at play in this storm of court challenges.
 
In June 2014, the federal Cabinet issued an order approving Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers project. Eight First Nations, four environmental organizations and one labour union have launched legal challenges to the federal government’s approval of the Project. They are: Gitga’at First Nation; Gitxaala Nation; Haida Nation; Haisla Nation; Heiltsuk Nation; Kitasoo Xai’Xais Nation; Nadleh Whut’en; Nak’azdli Whut’en; BC Nature; ForestEthics Advocacy Association; Living Oceans Society; Raincoast Conservation Foundation; and Unifor. The legal challenges will be heard at the same time in a hearing before the Federal Court of Appeal in Vancouver, scheduled to take place over six days on October 1-2 and 5-8, 2015.
 
This backgrounder provides a high-level summary of the written arguments of the Applicants that are challenging the federal government’s approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipelines and tankers project in the Federal Court of Appeal.
 
The written arguments of the Applicants can be accessed in full here:
 
Publication Date: 
July 2015
Publisher: 
West Coast Environmental Law
Year: 
2015