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Supreme Court Grants Burnaby Leave to Intervene in Province’s Appeal of BC Court of Appeal Decision Regarding Proposed Amendments to the BC Environmental Management Act

The Supreme Court of Canada has approved Burnaby’s Leave to Intervene application in the Province of B.C.’s appeal of the May 24, 2019, BC Court of Appeal’s Constitutional Question Act Reference decision

The decision was in response to the Province’s proposed draft amendments to the BC Environmental Management Act that would require a person to obtain a “hazardous substance permit” in order to possess or control a “hazardous substance” in a quantity greater than the largest annual amounts possessed or controlled by the person in each of 2013 to 2017.  The “hazardous substance” was identified as crude petroleum product.

These amendments would have given the province the constitutional power to regulate the flow of bitumen in the province. The Court of Appeal ruled that the proposed legislation would be beyond provincial jurisdiction on the basis that it was legislation affecting an interprovincial pipeline under exclusive federal authority. 

Mayor Mike Hurley is pleased that the City of Burnaby is being given the opportunity to again formally assert the importance of allowing the Province to amend the Environmental Management Act in a way that will protect Burnaby and B.C. from the tremendous risks of transport of diluted bitumen and other toxic substances through the province.

“This court case will allow Burnaby and other governments, First Nations and non-government organizations – all committed to protecting our shared environment and communities – to again demonstrate the critical need for new regulations that address critical environmental protection and public health issues,” says Burnaby Mayor, Mike Hurley.

The Hearing is set for January 16, 2020.

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For additional information, contact:
Office of the Mayor
mayor@burnaby.ca

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