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Canadian province vows to keep up fight against pipeline

Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline links oil sands fields in Alberta province to the outskirts of Vancouver for shipping overseas
Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline links oil sands fields in Alberta province to the outskirts of Vancouver for shipping overseas AFP/File
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Montreal (AFP)

The Canadian province of British Columbia vowed Monday to press on with a legal battle against a controversial oil pipeline after a federal court dealt the province a setback.

Authorities in British Columbia oppose the government's decision to let the American firm Kinder Morgan increase the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline from 300,000 to 800,000 barrels per day.

The conduit links oil sands fields in Alberta province to the outskirts of Vancouver, from where oil is shipped overseas.

The social-democrat government of British Columbia went to court against that authorization.

But the Federal Court of Appeal ruled Friday against the provincial government's bid to appeal a National Energy Board ruling that allows Kinder Morgan to bypass local bylaws during work on the pipeline to boost its pumping capacity.

"We are very disappointed that the Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed our application to appeal," said the provincial Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman.

"Our government will continue to explore other legal ways to defend the interests of British Columbians against this unnecessary project."

Another lawsuit brought by indigenous Canadians has reached the provincial supreme court.

Opponents of the pipeline point to the risk of oil spills at sea and the danger this poses for endangered sea mammals.

They also say that, by increasing the volume of oil shipped to the US and Asian markets, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is ignoring its commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

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