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First Nations begin court challenge against Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

VANCOUVER _ First Nations, environmental groups and local governments appeared in the Federal Court of Appeal in Vancouver today continuing their fight against the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Chief Ian Campbell of the Squamish First Nation says the federal government failed to consult or gain consent of First Nations for expansion of the oil pipeline, so they have little choice but to try to protect their land and water in the courts.

Campbell told a news conference the government didn’t adequately study the impacts that a spill of diluted bitumen could have in the band’s waters, which isn’t good governance.

First Nations, the cities of Burnaby and Vancouver, and two environmental groups are asking the court to overturn the federal government’s decision to approve the expansion of the $7.4-billion pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby.

Both the B.C. and Alberta governments are interveners in the court action, on opposing sides of the argument.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.