Trans Mountain construction receives 30-day notice

Construction on the pipeline expansion was underway, but was halted past year by the Federal court of Appeal, who ruled First Nations communities along the pipeline's route were not properly consulted.

Trans Mountain Corp. has directed some of its contractors to rehire the workers and complete the detailed work plans needed to begin construction of the stalled pipeline expansion project.

Construction had begun in Burnaby, Edmonton and along the pipeline route in between when the Federal Court of Appeal halted the work past year, ruling the federal government had not properly consulted with First Nations.

Work has restarted at the Burnaby storage terminal where the pipeline terminates, and the Westridge marine terminal, where crude is loaded onto tankers, Trans Mountain said in a statement. The specific start dates in the remaining construction areas are subject to final regulatory approvals and permits.

The federal government agreed to buy the pipeline from US -based Kinder Morgan Inc. for $4.5-billion in May 2018 as the American company was ready to give up on the expansion because of continuing delays created by provincial officials and environmental groups in B.C.

That plan was put on hold last August when the Federal Court of Appeal said the government had not done a good enough job consulting with Indigenous communities or studying the impact on marine life.

"I would call (the beginning of construction) inappropriate or premature given that several First Nations, environmental groups and the municipality of Vancouver are all making arguments the approval is unlawful", Tuytel said.

The government of British Columbia is opposed to the expansion, although it has said it will not delay issuing building permits, and a number of protesters have vowed to blockade construction.

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Anderson maintains the company will continue talking to Indigenous communities and other community groups affected by the pipeline. But construction was paused in 2018 after a judge overturned that decision, finding that the federal government hadn't adequately consulted First Nations.

"The series of delays and the existing uncertainty around this vital project continue to present serious challenges", Kenney said in a statement. The federal government approved the pipeline construction this summer.

Many Canadian oil and gas producers have struggled since global oil prices plummeted in late 2014.

After a new regulatory review Trudeau's government reapproved the pipeline in June, to the relief of Canada's oil industry.

The Alberta government on Tuesday extended production curtailments imposed to help relieve congestion on export pipelines.

"The terminal work will be entirely located on land owned by Trans Mountain and it needs to commence by August 5 to avoid seasonal restrictions", Trans Mountain said in its application to the NEB.

"We're very happy that people will be actually in the field, digging the ground and installing the pipe", he said.

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