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Court OKs aboriginal pipeline challenge in B.C.

VANCOUVER - A Federal Court judge will let a British Columbia First Nation challenge the review process into the expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain oil pipeline.

The Tsleil-Waututh (sail-WHA'-tooth) Nation says if the challenge were successful, it could force the National Energy Board to restart its review process.

Tsleil-Waututh Chief Maureen Thomas says government and the NEB have entered into an unlawful process that doesn't respect the band's rights and title.

Thomas says the First Nation will use all legal means necessary to defend itself against what it calls the energy board's one-sided review process for the expanded pipeline.

The band claimed in court that the process can't go ahead because it hasn't been consulted about key decisions, including about the environmental assessment.

If the expansion were approved, the twinned pipeline would carry about 890,000 barrels of bitumen to Metro Vancouver's Burrard Inlet for transport by oil tankers.

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