Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC v. Misavair
Jurisdiction: Supreme Court
Side A: Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC (Corporation)
Side B: David Mivasair and others (Individual)
Pipeline protesters sought to assert necessity defense
A number of people were convicted for acting to stop construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion in Canada. Two defendants sought leave to raise the common law defense of necessity and for permission to call experts at their trial to discuss climate change and the greenhouse gas consequences of oil sands extraction in Canada. They argued that the pipeline, which is owned by the Government of Canada, constitutes state action threatening citizens' right to a stable climate as protected by Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
On December 4, 2018, the Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissed the applications. The court concluded that the applicants had not shown that climate change poses an imminent threat as required for the necessity defense. The case is currently on appeal before the Court of Appeals of British Columbia.