Today’s recommendation from the National Energy Board, while positive, does not get us anywhere closer to the pipeline getting built.
All it does is put the decision back in the hands of the same Liberal cabinet that failed to start construction in the first place.
The bottom line is Justin Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet is still months away from making a decision with no timeline for when consultations with first nations will conclude or when a final decision on the project will be made.
This review process by the National Energy Board was unnecessary and only further delayed the construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The same evidence, issues, and concerns from the first review were repeated in the reconsideration.
Meanwhile, thousands of Canadian families who rely on the energy sector for their jobs and livelihoods continue to suffer. More than 100,000 jobs have already been lost and thousands more are at risk.
Energy workers are paying for Justin Trudeau’s mistakes.
It did not have to be this way. Within a week of the Aug. 30, 2018 Federal Court of Appeal ruling Conservatives had a plan to rescue the project and get it built.
To address the two primary concerns of the court, Conservatives proposed the government immediately appoint a ministerial representative to restart indigenous consultations and introduce emergency legislation to affirm that Transport Canada was the appropriate department to assess the impact of marine traffic.
Conservatives would also have immediately used the constitutional powers of the federal government to declare the Trans Mountain Expansion project in the national interest, removing the threats from provincial and municipal leaders to block to the project.
Instead, the Liberals picked the lengthiest, costliest, and most uncertain option by directing the NEB to undertake a 22-week reconsideration, further delaying progress on the Trans Mountain Expansion.
Nothing has changed. The opponents of the project simply used this time to prepare their next wave of legal challenges.
The mistakes the Liberals have made on the Trans Mountain Expansion, their ‘no more pipelines’ Bill C-69 and other anti-energy policies and legislation have destroyed Canada’s reputation as Hian attractive destination for the kind of energy investment that creates jobs and opportunity.
Energy workers and their families deserve better from their government. An Andrew Scheer government will stand up for Canada’s energy sector and make sure energy workers get back to work.
Conservative Shadow Minister for Natural Resources