Another big win for Trans Mountain, Osler and Canada: Federal Court of Appeal dismisses applications against Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project

Maureen Killoran, QC, Olivia Dixon, Sean Sutherland

Feb 4, 2020

On Tuesday, February 4, 2020, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) released its much-awaited decision in the judicial review of the second Federal approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. 

In a unanimous 3-0 decision, the FCA dismissed the judicial review applications with costs awarded against the four First Nation respondents, clearing a major legal hurdle and paving the way for the multi-billion dollar project to move forward. 

The FCA concluded that there is no basis for interfering with Cabinet’s second authorization of the Project; the judicial review applications were dismissed (with costs to the respondents). In dismissing the applications, the FCA characterized the applicants’ submissions generally as follows (paragraph 86):

The applicants’ submissions are essentially that the Project cannot be approved until all of their concerns are resolved to their satisfaction. If we accepted those submissions, as a practical matter, there would be no end to consultation, the Project would never be approved, and the applicants would have a de facto veto right over it.

The decision also comes just weeks after a Supreme Court of Canada issued a unanimous 9-0 ruling against British Columbia in favour of federal jurisdiction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. Osler represented both Trans Mountain and Enbridge in that decision. 

Osler lawyers Maureen Killoran Q.C., Olivia Dixon and Sean Sutherland represented Trans Mountain in this matter (culminating in the hearing before the FCA in December 2019). Congratulations Maureen and the team on a nationally significant and outstanding result! You can read more in CBC News and The Globe and Mail as follows: