On September 21, 2018, the Government of Canada announced Part I of its path forward for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, instructing the National Energy Board (NEB) to reconsider its recommendations, taking into account the effects of project-related marine shipping. The NEB will be required to complete a thorough and prompt review and deliver its report no later than February 22, 2019.

Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, reiterated that the Project is an investment in Canada’s future and the Government remains committed to a clear and reliable path forward for the Project.

The NEB received a new Order in Council and, on September 26, 2018, the Board announced that it will hold a public hearing to carry out its reconsideration process.

We are keen to move forward with the Project; getting Canadians working and getting Canada full value for our resources. We share the values we all place on our coast and its cultural, environmental and economic importance to our communities.

Over the past six years we’ve taken great care to assess and include marine aspects in the Project. Additional safety and environmental safeguards will be in place when the Project proceeds.

On October 3, 2018 the federal government announced Part II of the path forward for the Expansion Project:

  • First, the Government will not appeal the Court’s decision.
  • Second, the Government will re-initiate Phase III consultations with all 117 Indigenous groups impacted by the project. Minister Sohi will begin by talking to groups about how to get this process right this time and will ensure that Indigenous voices are at the table as we move forward in this process.
  • Third, the Government has appointed former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci as a Federal Representative to oversee the consultation process. He will initially provide advice on designing the process and will then oversee it to ensure that Indigenous consultations are meaningful and comply with the judgement of the Federal Court of Appeal. He will work directly with officials and other external experts, as appropriate.

We believe it’s imperative to work in close coordination with the federal government during this consultation phase. Trans Mountain has worked hard to build long term relationships, based on mutual trust and respect, with Indigenous groups along the pipeline and marine corridors over our 65 years of operating Trans Mountain and through our Project-related engagement since 2012. We are ready and willing to participate in these consultations. 

Trans Mountain will honour the 43 Agreements we reached with Indigenous communities in support of the Project and comply with all commitments and conditions. As the Minister noted, this supplemental consultation phase may identify new accommodation measures; however, Trans Mountain remains committed to providing benefits to Indigenous communities, as well as maximizing Indigenous inclusion in procurement, employment and training opportunities. While there is no set timeline for these consultations, the Federal Court of Appeal did provide guidance and said that meaningful consultation could be done in an efficient manner.