Plans for Trans Mountain expansion project delayed

Marco Green
April 21, 2019

The federal government says it's delaying until June 18 its decision on a pipeline to pump crude from northern Alberta oil sands to an oil terminal on British Columbia's Pacific Coast to allow for more time for consultations with Indigenous groups affected by the controversial expansion project.

“Since the Federal Court of Appeal decision last August, we have been singularly focused on responding to the path set out in the Courts ruling with a view toward getting back to construction.

Interestingly, during the Alberta election, Rachel Notley stated she believed the Trudeau government would approve it by the end of May.

The feds took action and in February the National Energy Board endorsed the project for a second time, starting a 90-day clock for a federal decision. Join the conversation by commenting below!

RBC Capital Markets energy analyst Michael Tran said the short delay to the Trans Mountain decision would not materially impact the energy sector, and it was more important that the government consult properly to avoid more delays in future.

"This process includes engaging in meaningful, two-way dialogue - to discuss and understand priorities of the groups our teams meet and to offer responsive accommodations, where appropriate", said Amarjeet Sohi, minister of natural resources.

Conservative natural resources critic Shannon Stubbs released a statement criticizing the government for the delay, saying the peculiar timing of the announcement - two days after the Alberta election and just before the Easter long weekend -show it has "no plan to get the Trans Mountain Expansion built". "We will continue to communicate the emergency of this to all Canadians".

Sohi says the government remains committed to doing things differently and moving forward with guidance from the Federal Court of Appeal. Ottawa spent $4.5 billion to buy the existing pipeline previous year in a bid to overcome political hurdles holding up construction.

The company halted work last spring, and warned it would cancel the project altogether unless Ottawa could convince it that the delays would not continue.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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