Burnaby appeals NEB decision on City Bylaws to the Supreme Court of Canada


Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan

THE City of Burnaby on Wednesday filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in relation to the National Energy Board’s (NEB) December ruling that declared Burnaby’s PPA and tree bylaws constitutionally inapplicable to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline construction. The NEB decision is allowing Kinder Morgan to bypass City permitting processes put in place to protect the city’s residents, environment and economy.

The Order of the NEB exempting Trans Mountain from these laws was made December 7, 2017, with reasons for the decision delivered January 18. On February 16, the City of Burnaby filed for leave to appeal the NEB decision, but on March 23, the Federal Court of Appeal denied the City’s application.

“The NEB accepted that Trans Mountain’s claim of deliberate delay for political reasons was not proven. But they then found, with no evidence, that the City’s standard, first-class development approval process was taking too long. We believe that even federal pipelines should follow normal rules within municipalities, and that the time taken for regulatory review should be part of the process. We don’t believe the federally appointed  NEB is the right place to review municipal processes,” says Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan. “The Court System should be the body that decides whether or not this is fair and just. The Federal Court of Appeal refused to do so – and they did so without providing any reasons. We are now, therefore, asking the Supreme Court of Canada to address this critical matter.”

Trans Mountain applied in October 2017 to be relieved of the requirement of Trans Mountain to comply with the municipal bylaw relating to planning approval and tree removal. Trans Mountain argued that the bylaws were unconstitutional because they conflicted with the federal approval and the NEB Act. Trans Mountain claimed that Burnaby was delaying the permits deliberately because of political interference.