Lies and losses

Trudeau’s broken promises loom large in federal court decision

Last month’s Federal Court of Appeal ruling dealt a crushing blow to the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker expansion.

The decision was a huge victory for the First Nations — in particular, the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Sto:lo (Aitchelitz, Skowkale Shxwa:y Village, Soowahlie, Squiala, Tzeachten, Yakweakwioose, Skwah, Kwaw-Kwaw-Aplit and Ts’elxweyeqw), Coldwater, Upper Nicola and Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc — that fought for so many years to defend their rights, lands and waters. It was a win for B.C.’s southern resident orca population, and their legal champions Raincoast, Living Oceans and Ecojustice.

It was also vindication for the First Nations leaders and analysts who criticized the rigged review process from the get-go. Including, as it turns out, the Prime Minister.

Indigenous rights

Justin Trudeau promised a new Nation-to-Nation relationship. He said he would fully implement the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which includes the principle of free prior and informed consent. When APTN asked point blank if no would “mean no under your government,” he said “absolutely.”

Well, he lied to Canadians. He paid lip service to First Nations communities, and sought to meet the bare minimum legal standard for consultation on pipeline and tanker expansion through their territory. And still, he fell short, as the Federal Court of Appeal ruled last week. As the judges ruled: “More was required of Canada.”

Justin Trudeau circa 2015 could’ve told him so.

A new review

Justin Trudeau also acknowledged Stephen Harper’s NEB review process was fatally flawed. He committed to overhauling it. And when he visited Esquimalt, B.C. on the campaign trail in 2015, he promised that overhaul would apply to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain oil tanker project too.

That was yet another lie. After winning power, Trudeau relied on Harper’s broken NEB review as the basis of his government’s approval. And last week, the court ruled that same process was “so flawed that it was unreasonable for the Governor in Council to rely upon it.” In particular, the NEB failed to properly consider the expansion of oil tanker traffic and the associated risks to the endangered southern resident killer whales.

No one to blame

Based on these promises, the Liberal Party of Canada won a majority by a 14-seat margin on October 19, 2015. They picked up 15 seats in B.C.

If they’d kept those promises, they might not have suffered last month’s crushing legal loss. Indeed, the First Nations and environmental groups may not have needed to mount court challenges in the first place.

The Trudeau government’s Trans Mountain expansion approval process was unlawful. It has been quashed by Canada’s courts and sent back to the drawing board. Politicians aren’t above the law — and if they’re going to respect the rule of law, that means missing next year’s construction season.

The Prime Minister has nobody to blame but himself, and his own broken promises.

13 Responses to “Lies and losses”

  1. Paul Plimley says:

    I agree with the points made in this article. What I’m afraid of is Trudeau going to the Supreme Court of Canada and attempting to wrangle the bloody pipeline through them. Here then is a pertinent question: is the current lineup of the Supreme Court oriented towards making a decision that takes into account the same principles of First Nations concerns being met, along with the proper curbing of oil spills in our water to protect marine life and our incredible environments? Or are they fundamentally corporate lackeys? I’m interested in what Canadians think of our Supreme Court and its collective mindset.

  2. Sally Hart says:

    Well said.

  3. Steven Aikenhead says:

    …Very good question !!

  4. Michael Obrecht says:

    The Supreme Court decision on Mi’qmak right to fish (R vs Marshall) showed respect for the terms of a treaty agreed to in 1760. To me, Supreme Court decisions seem to be based on careful consideration of laws, precedents and human rights.

  5. William Vernon Prestwich says:

    It is worse. This evil pipeline is carrying tar mixed with poison liquids.

  6. Sharon Gates says:

    They must stop the pipeline expansion because if, and when, there is a spill it will destroy our salmon, all sea life and tourism. It will be a disaster. I would shudder to see oil tankers in our beautiful ocean and we must protect our natural environment.

  7. Cindy Devine says:

    It’s time to start focusing on renewable resources instead of waiting until the last drop of crude isw exploded out of the earth and then wondering what to do. It’s time to do the right thing and protect the environment and the future – forget the dangerous pipeline!

  8. Shirley A. Nobbs says:

    It was right on!

  9. Eliza Tague says:

    I agree with you on your right on points about Trudeau being less than reliable on his so-called promises directed toward all Canadians. In fact, I share the same concern that Trudeau could likely worm his way with the Supreme Court. I think it really depends on who sits in those seats, and what direction their personal politics and beliefs lie in.

  10. Danny Thomas says:

    I cannot work with Trudeau around on anything… After all that has taken place.I cannot take this man seriously on any topic…He is a martyr to Canada,s economy and beliefs period !

  11. Robert Dingle says:

    Protect our trillion dollar West Coast! It’s a tourist Mecca, no to pipelines, oil tankers on our west coast!

  12. Laurel-anne Beck says:

    What can we do?
    Is there anyone out there who doesn’t lie?
    The meat industry, pharmaceuticals, oil are the biggest lies of the world.
    To avoid disease Eat plants as is intened for our body chemesty (is proven mixing other living beings blood with human blood is the #1 killer and cause of disease including heart disease, diabetes, cancers, alzhimers, dementia. If plants are consumed our need for pharmaceuticals will be unnecessary. Lastly encourage the Use Of Solar and or Wind Energy.
    We all need to participate and funnel our money and minds in the direction of plant consumption and Solar and Wind Energy.
    This will remove the need for fighting and arguing the lies and a point of view we all know is wrong.
    This is the only way to weaken the other side the dark side and it’s lies.
    We need to walk away and choose to implement the course and travel the journey we know is True.
    Death is Death—don’t support it.
    Lite is Light.
    Be True To Life
    Support It.
    Advertise the Truth by Using Billboards.
    Money will be well spent by Educating the people.
    ( i have some good ideas if you are interested)

  13. Harald Tilgner says:


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