November 22, 2022 – 6:00 pm
Trans Mountain Pipeline is facing criminal charges for damaging a heritage site along its construction route.
The exact location of the heritage site is unclear, but court documents claim it is somewhere near Kamloops.
Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC is facing a charge for damaging a site with artifacts or evidence of human habitation before 1846, according to court documents. The offense took place between July 7 and August 25, 2021.
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Lawyers for the pipeline company were in Kamloops Provincial Court for a first appearance on Monday, Nov. 21, a month after the charges were first approved by Crown prosecutors.
A blog post on the company’s website says it has worked with archaeologists and indigenous communities to survey all potential heritage sites along the expansion route. He then plans his construction, in part, on the basis of these studies.
“This planning includes avoiding where possible and, if not possible, working with the BC and Alberta Archeology Branches to obtain all required permits and approvals. We are aware of the archaeological sites of our expansion project and have assessed all areas to implement appropriate mitigation measures for construction,” reads the March 2022 post.
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The offense has not been proven in court, but if Trans Mountain is found guilty, the company could face a fine of up to $1 million, according to the Heritage Act.
The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Edmonton to Burnaby travels primarily along Highway 5. From Valemount its path is south to Kamloops then Merritt where it continues along Coquihalla to Hope . The controversial project has been repeatedly delayed as it is now expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023.
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