Good news! Canada’s Federal Appeals Court bowed to pressure from First Nations and other activists and ordered construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion stopped — dead in its tracks! This means the tripling of tar sands exports from Alberta through British Columbia and Washington state ports has been averted. And so has the five-fold increase in tankers that threaten coastal sea life. For more details, read “In Canada, led by First Nations, opposition grows to extra-risky pipeline.”
The court said its ruling was based on the pipeline company not consulting with indigenous tribes, and its failure to consider the dangers of increased oil shipments on coastal waters and creatures. And international outrage around the well-publicized grief of one of those animals, the mother orca who strained to keep her dead calf afloat for 17 days, undoubtedly played a role in the court’s unanimous decision.
Congratulations and respect to steadfast First Nations and tribes, environmental activists, and students in British Columbia and Washington state. Their years-long collaborative campaign stopped this pipeline expansion. And this victory shows what cross-border organizing and international exposure can accomplish in the urgent battle to protect our endangered planet Earth and its seas.