Environmental Lawyer says B-C Premier has case in pipeline dispute


A lawyer for West Coast Environmental Law says B-C has a case in the pipeline dispute.

B-C Premier John Horgan met with federal officials Thursday, looking to clarify B.C.'s position in the dispute that has created acrimony with neighboring Alberta.

Horgan is questioning the process under which the disputed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was approved by the federal government. 

Eugene Kung, a lawyer for West Coast Environmental Law in Vancouver, claims Premier Horgan is within his rights:

"I think he has not just a case, but a responsibility to protect the health and safety of British Columbians."

Horgan says the changes signal that the regulations that gave Trans Mountain the 'green light'-- were inadequate.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna introduced a new bill Thursday that would overhaul environmental assessment procedures.  

McKenna says she made clear the federal government has the authority to approve the Trans Mountain project -- and will exert that jurisdiction to make sure it gets built.

If the proposed legislation passes, new energy projects will be assessed and either approved or denied within two years.

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