YOUTH STOP TMX
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *** 13 January 2020 ***
“The current climate science… is irrelevant” says Trans Mountain, a corporation wholly-owned by Canada, in submission to Supreme Court of Canada
Victoria, BC, Edmonton, AB, Winnipeg, MB and London, ON
In legal submissions filed January 9, Trans Mountain, wholly owned by Canada, took aim at four youth Climate Strikers who are asking the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn the government’s approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX). Trans Mountain’s submissions dismissed the Climate Strikers’ arguments as being “extraneous” and as lacking “any practical or precedential value”, despite their concerns being founded on a concern for their futures and safety. Surprisingly, in response to the Climate Strikers’ arguments that international scientific experts have found, since the first court decision stopping the project, that climate harms are increasingly severe and alarming, the company argued that “the current state of climate science… is irrelevant” in the court’s consideration of whether the Climate Strikers should have brought a challenge earlier, and saying that they should not be heard now.
Olivier Adkin-Kaya (Edmonton, age 18); Nina Tran (London, age 18); Lena Andres (Winnipeg, age 17); and Rebecca Wolf Gage (Victoria, age 13) have been asking the courts to confirm that Canada was wrong to refuse to fully examine the impacts of TMX on climate change and their right to a healthy future. After being dismissed at the Federal Court of Appeal, on November 4 the climate strikers sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Canada and Trans Mountain’s responses, filed Thursday, argued that the youth should not be heard by the Supreme Court because the link between the project and climate change harms are “highly speculative”. Trans Mountain even argued that it would be “profoundly unfair and unjust” to overturn the decision based on the Climate Strikers’ concerns for their safety and futures.
Lena Andres said, “What is profoundly unfair is that in deciding to approve this project, our government refused to consider that it would result in a 20% increase in Canada’s GHG emissions and lock us into fossil fuel extraction for years to come—right at a time when we need to be steeply ramping down our emissions.”
While in theory Trans Mountain is a separate entity from the government, it is wholly-owned by Canada and therefore Canada has control over how it deals with this case. And, meanwhile, Canada has been arguing in the courts that its carbon tax is essential because of the serious impacts that climate change has on the health and safety of Canadians.
“It’s not OK for Prime Minister Trudeau to say that he wants to solve the climate crisis and then go and buy a pipeline. Canada and Trans Mountain don’t want us in court, because we’d have a chance to prove that we’re right: that you can’t build pipelines and protect our future at the same time,” said Rebecca Wolf Gage.
Youth Stop TMX is grateful to the hundreds of Canadians who have donated more than $18,000 towards this case through www.gofundme.com/youth-stop-tmx. The climate strikers are currently seeking to raise a further $27,000 towards their legal fees and other costs at the Supreme Court.
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For more information see the Youth Stop TMX webpage or contact:
Youth Stop TMX at YouthStopTMX@gmail.com.
Patrick Canning (lawyer) at 778-875-4897.