The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation (COTTFN) has been granted leave to appeal the NEB's approval of the Enbridge Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project. The COTTFN had to apply to the Federal Court of Appeal for leave as the first step in its challenge to the NEB decision on the basis that the Federal Crown failed to consult with it over the project. COTTFN disputes that its participation in the NEB process or public consultation by Enbridge constitutes proper consultation by the Crown. Read COTTFN's press release on the leave to appeal decision at: FEDERAL COURT OF APPEAL GRANTS CHIPPEWAS LEAVE.
The outcome of the appeal is obviously up in the air, but it is promising to see that COTTFN's arguments about Crown consultation will be heard by the Courts. Similar arguments were raised by First Nations in the initial Line 9A reversal application hearing, but no appeals were taken from the NEB's approval of that project. Without an appeal to the Courts, the NEB is left to make the only decisions about whether its own "consultation" process with First Nations fulfills the Crown's obligations. A conflict of interest?
Depending on the outcome of the appeal before the Federal Court of Appeal, this may be the kind of case that will go to the Supreme Court of Canada.