Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan issues the following release on today’s federal government announcement on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project:
Alberta Liberals are pleased there is now some progress to move the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project forward. But we are also putting the Federal Government and the Alberta Government on notice. “You had better get it right this time”.
Khan stated, “Albertans—and Canadians—need the jobs. We need the higher revenue from selling our energy to world markets to pay for healthcare and schools in our Province and in our Country. The Trans Mountain Pipeline project is essential for a growing Alberta economy and for Canada.
“The world is watching. Energy project investment across the board is waiting for a resolution. We cannot fumble the ball a second time or third time.
“We urge careful and meaningful consideration of the marine environmental impact and not just a token review of this essential issue. We strongly support safeguards to protect coastal waters, marine creatures and vegetation in the area of the Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea.
“We are also calling for careful and meaningful consultation and accommodation with Indigenous groups. Lip service or mere “note-taking” will not suffice. The Federal Court of Appeal made it clear this consultation under successive Federal governments was also previously inadequate. The same mistake cannot be allowed to happen again. The accommodation of legitimate and reasonable First Nations concerns should begin immediately. These include, for example, concerns of Coldwater First Nation that the pipeline route passes through the aquifer the community relies on for its drinking water.
“An appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada will only lead to more uncertainty and delay. This is not productive.
“The estimated timeline for the marine review is 22 weeks. The National Energy Board and the Federal Cabinet must still review the outcome and make decisions. The timing is critical. There can be no further delays.
“Albertans cannot afford to give the Federal and Alberta Governments a third chance on the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Let's get this right.”