“We appreciate the federal government’s second approval of this existing project. This approval is an important milestone for Alberta, and for Canada. The decision was made on the merits of the project that is supported by the majority of Canadians. Approving the TMX pipeline is a step forward for economic growth and prosperity”
THOSE WORDS from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney following the announcement by Justin Trudeau, that Trans Mountain was going ahead.
Those words, however, were guarded, as he went on to say, “But approval is not construction and, regrettably, for far too long this project has been mired in uncertainty. TMX has been through countless months of consultation and a lengthy and rigorous review process. The immediate test is the start of construction, with shovels in the ground and real progress. Success will be measured by one thing alone: completion of this pipeline.”
An extensive regulatory process was begun by Kinder Morgan, who at that time were the owners of the Trans Mountain Pipelines. That was in 2012, as they sought National Energy Board (NEB) approval to expand the existing pipeline.
According to Trans Mountain, on Sept. 21, 2018, the NEB received a new Order in Council from the federal Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which required the National Energy Board to reconsider its recommendations for the Expansion Project; relevant to project-related marine shipping.
Five days later on Sept. 26, the NEB announced it would hold a public hearing to carry out its reconsideration related to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
On Feb. 22, 2019, the National Energy Board (NEB) delivered its Reconsideration report to the Government of Canada, with an overall recommendation that the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is in the Canadian public interest and should be approved. The project will be subject to 156 conditions enforceable by the NEB.
The wait then began for Tuesday’s announcement, an announcement that had Trudeau stating the project was finally to go ahead, and it would begin with shovels in the ground during this construction season.
“First and foremost, this will be welcome news for communities in the North Thompson that are suffering from recent mill closures,” said Conservative MP Cathy McLeod. “The question is when will it get built. I remain skeptical until there are shovels in the ground.
“I question the government’s true desire to get the pipeline expanded givenJustin Trudeau’s desire to phase out Canada’s oil and gas sector,” said McLeod.
“Currently there are two bills before Parliament, C-48 the north coast tanker ban and C-69, the no new pipelines bill. This legislation will make it virtually impossible to get another major energy infrastructure project approved in Canada.”
Tuesday’s news was also welcomed by the BC Conservative Party’s leader Trevor Bolin, “I am pleased seeing the approval and ask that the construction get started immediately.”
This was followed up with the comment that, “The BC Conservatives have and will continue to stand behind the needs of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. This is a project that is good for Alberta, beneficial for B.C. and in the best interest of Canada.”
Meantime, Dr. Jekyll (B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan) and Mr. Hyde (Environment Minister George Heyman) are still refusing to go along with the majority of British Columbians, from right across the province, that wish to see this pipeline go ahead.
On the Twitter feed for @BCTodayOfficial George Heyman stated, “We will not abandon our responsibility to protect our land and our water. We will continue to stand up and defend our environment, our coast and the tens of thousands of jobs that depend on them.”
He went on to state, “The B.C. government still thinks the pipeline expansion poses a significant risk to B.C.’s environment, tourism and economy,” before adding, “as do many British Columbians.”
Well, Sir …. you are 100 percent wrongbecause in actual fact every poll undertaken for month after month has shown a majority 60 per cent and more, IN FAVOR of the project.
And as for Premier Horgan?? More of the same never-ending rhetoric.
“We are disappointed that the federal government has re-approved a project that poses great risks to our coast, our environment and our economy.”
“We will continue to defend our environment, our coast, and the tens of thousands of jobs that rely on them,” he continued.
Can anyone say — we’re headed back to the Supreme Court mantra is back?
Hopefully, the thoughtful considerations and plans of the Alberta government will finally take hold in Ottawa. That’s the hope of Premier Kenney at least.
“Albertans continue to urge the federal government to listen to the provinces, job creators and the Senate on these bills to restore investor confidence and diversify our markets.”
“We remain committed to fighting for additional pipelines, growing the economy and creating good jobs.”
I doubt many believe the fight over the Trans Mountain pipeline has ended, but everyday Canadians are getting louder in insisting they be heard on this matter.
Alan Forseth is a Kamloops resident and former member of the Reform Party of Canada and the B.C. Reform Party, and a past and current member of the BC Conservative Party. His blog is My Thoughts on Politics and More.