The company's final approval of the sale came just after a huge courtroom victory for First Nations and environmental advocates on Thursday who have fought against the expansion of the pipeline, which the Canadian government wants to use to carry 890,000 barrels of tar sands from Alberta to British Columbia's southern coast.
Earlier this year, in an escalating dispute with the B.C. government over Trans Mountain, Notley's government passed sweeping legislation allowing it to intervene in the marketplace and restrict oil flows if necessary to maximize prices while also sending a sharp message to Canadian regions reliant on Alberta's oil. "I was expecting to be talking about the need to carry on the battle", he said.
The court combined into one case almost two dozen lawsuits filed by First Nations, environmental groups and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby calling for the energy board's review to be overturned.
Notley's government started imposing a $20-per-tonne carbon tax last year, which rose to $30 per tonne this year.
Notley said the federal government needs to appeal the court's decision to the Supreme Court and call an emergency session of Parliament.
"Without Alberta, that plan isn't worth the paper it's written on".
Notley's decision is significant, however, because governments in Saskatchewan and Ontario are fighting Trudeau's carbon plan in court. Justice Dawson addressed the likelihood of delays and hesitancy in this process in the court ruling. Canada has the world's third largest oil reserves, but 99 percent of its exports now go to refiners in the USA, where limits on pipeline and refinery capacity mean Canadian oil sells at a discount.
He said the ruling underscores the reality that pipelines will not be built in this country unless they include environmental protection and Indigenous consultation.More news: Myanmar army fakes photos in book on Rohingya crisis
Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a tweet that the federal government is reviewing the decision.
Meanwhile, First Nations leaders in B.C. expressed surprise and celebration at the ruling.
"I understand the frustration of the premier, absolutely", said Sohi, who represents an Edmonton riding.
"The court decision was not a condition of the transaction between KML and the federal government", said president Ian Anderson in a statement.
Analysts have said China is eager to get access to Canada's oil, but largely gave up hope that a pipeline to the Pacific Coast would be built.
The federal government will now have to consult with First Nations in a way that seriously considers their concerns and provides a response and even an accommodation in some cases, said Gordon Christie, a University of British Columbia law professor.
The prime minister added that he spoke with Notley Thursday and knows she is "firm" in her support of balancing economic growth with protecting the environment. It has signalled that the money will likely be returned through some sort of individual tax rebate to residents in a province, rather than to provincial governments that refuse to implement their own carbon pricing scheme.