Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a "threat" to British Columbia, said the province's environment minister as government lawyered up. "They will be in violation of their environmental assessment certificate, the one that exists today".
"It still remains to be seen what the British Columbia government can actually do to stop, or materially delay, the project and how the B.C. government's opposition will be reconciled with Ottawa's approval", said Robert Kwan, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets.
As well, the Squamish First Nation has a court challenge related to inadequate consultation by Kinder Morgan on its project, which proposes to nearly triple the number of barrels of oil shipped per day from Edmonton to the shores of Burrard Inlet, increasing from 300,000 to 890,000.
Heyman says, until the consultations have been completed and the province is satisfied that all of its obligations have been met, work on the project will not be allowed to proceed on public lands.
The project's prospect has become more uncertain after a left-leaning government took power in British Columbia in June, although the administration has since softened its rhetoric.
Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada, said in a statement the company is reviewing the announcement.
In a federal court application for a judicial review of the NEB's approval of the pipeline expansion, the province will seek intervener status.
"We have undertaken thorough, extensive and meaningful consultations with Aboriginal Peoples, communities and individuals and remain dedicated to those efforts and relationships". "That is what drove us in the choices we made and we will stand by those choices".
Berger is a former B.C. Supreme Court Justice and a former B.C. NDP leader.
"British Columbians should be rightly concerned that their government is spending tax dollars to stop a project that will not only boost our local economies but also benefit the rest of our country", Coleman said.
"Until those plans are completed, Kinder Morgan, with the exception of private land. can not put shovels in the ground", the minister said.
In addition, the Squamish First Nation has gone to court to challenge the adequacy of the consultation process by the province. Kinder Morgan Canada's stock price fell 3.6% in trading on Toronto stock market, closing the session at C$17.28.
Attorney General David Eby and Environment Minister George Heyman announced at a press conference Thursday morning the provincial government has hired Thomas Berger as external counsel for all legal actions related to the pipeline expansion.
"Kinder Morgan does not have the permits it needs, and there is now even greater doubt that they will secure them", Hudema said.