The Supreme Court Of Canada has dismissed a new appeal from First Nations in British Columbia over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, according to CTV News.
On Thursday, the court dismissed the appeal which came from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, Coldwater Indian Band and the Ts'elxweyeqw Tribes.
A news conference involving First Nations leaders is set to take place later on Thursday to comment on the decision.
The news means that the long-lasting legal fight over the completion of the project has likely come to an end. No reasons for the decision were given by the court.
The Supreme Court said in January that the BC government could not regulate the contents of the pipeline because it is federal jurisdiction.
The pipeline project became approved in 2016 but was put on hold by the Federal Court of Appeal when environmental groups and First Nations argued against the approval process two years later.
The project was approved again in June 2019 following consultation with the communities involved, but it was appealed again after the bands were not satisfied with the consultation.
In February, it was ruled by the Federal Court of Appeal that the approval would stand. First Nations then called on the Supreme Court.
Some concerns the community has include the project’s effect on drinking water and marine life—especially BC’s Southern Resident killer whales.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tried to frame the project as a compromise between the environment and the economy, saying that Canada can only make the switch to a greener future if the country uses its natural resources to do so.
The pipeline expansion will come close to tripling the flow of diluted bitumen from the oil sands in Alberta to Burnaby, BC.
The majority of Albertan oil is sold with a discount as Canada relies on the United States as a large customer. The goal of the pipeline is to bring more Canadian oil out to the Pacific, so it can be shipped to Asia at a better price for oil companies.