B.C. Supreme Court overturns B.C. Oil and Gas Commission pipeline approval
The B.C. Supreme Court overturned a B.C. Oil Commission pipeline approval due to failure to consult with Fort Nelson First Nation and address their concerns about the impact of a new natural gas pipeline on caribou. In an oral ruling handed down December 15, the court overturned the commission’s approval in June of a 32-kilometre natural gas pipeline in an area of northeastern B.C. called Fortune Core.
Matthew Kirchner, a lawyer from Ratcliff, who represented Fort Nelson First Nation, said the commission showed a “stunning” disregard for some of the concerns the First Nation tried to raise as part of a review of the project. He said the Fort Nelson First Nation wanted to discuss a caribou management plan and a recovery plan but that the commission’s response was that the area is already heavily disturbed with pipelines and seismic lines and it refused to entertain any additional recommendations for mitigation of impacts on caribou habitat.