Funding the appeal

This legal challenge started on November 22, 2018, when Jennifer Nathan and I filed an application in the Supreme Court of B.C. We had been charged with criminal contempt of court for having disobeyed an injunction concerning the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.  The purpose of our application was to obtain “leave” (permission from the court) to call expert evidence at our trial about the emissions implications of Canada’s continued expansion of oil sands production to 2040, and about climate science and the advancing peril of climate change.

Full details of our case, and the legal issues, are found elsewhere on this site.

The substance of our case is that the continued expansion of oil sands production above current levels is inconsistent with Canada’s commitment to keep the increase in global average surface temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels – and inconsistent with our further commitment “to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C (Paris Agreement, December 2015).

After a hearing on December 3-4, 2018, a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia refused our application. On March 11, 2019, our trial on charges of criminal contempt proceeded (in the absence of any evidence about climate science) and we were convicted of criminal contempt.

We have appealed that decision to the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. On May 31, 2019, we filed our Appeal Book, which is the formal record containing our Outline of Proposed Evidence and our sworn affidavit evidence. Those documents are available on this site. Very recently, on November 18, 2019, we filed the Appellants’ Factum, which is the written argument that sets out the grounds of our appeal. It is also available on this site.

The first year of this legal case, covering the trial-level proceedings and the initial stages of launching the appeal up to October 31, 2019, has involved legal costs of $46,625.05. We have paid a little more than $40,000 of that amount ourselves. We are deeply appreciative of the generosity of many people who, as donors and supporters of this litigation, have during the past eight months contributed $6,520 to our legal costs.

To the GoFundMe site: $5,700
Direct contributions: $820

The hearing in the Court of Appeal will take place in or about March 2020. This is a complex case. We anticipate that from this point forward, legal costs in the range of an additional $40,000 will be incurred to fully prepare the appeal and take it to completion, and for that we are asking for some support from people who share our concerns.

If you’re interested in supporting this legal challenge directly without going through the GoFundMe platform, please contact us.