The federal government isn’t going to let up in its efforts to see the Trans-mountain pipeline expansion built.
Natural resources minister Jim Carr says the government believes it is the safest way to transport oil and Carr adds Canada will continue to produce oil and ship it across the country whether or not there are new pipelines. He says building the lines means it can be shipped more safely. On the other hand, Carr will be attending a Winnipeg conference next week that will delve into how Canada can and will adjust to a low-carbon energy world.
The Winnipeg conference is key for Carr as Natural Resources Minister. His mandate letter from the prime minister directed him to formulate a national energy strategy and that includes producing and moving clean energy across the country.
Carr says even as Canada adapts to the new world energy order, oil resources will be extracted and it will continue to move Canada-wide. He says with the Trans-mountain project, oil could flow to the west coast and then on to China.
The project got federal approval last fall even though it is under a legal microscope as Indigenous and environmental groups, as well as cities, argue the approval process was flawed and didn’t examine the impact of the project on everything from killer whales to waterways. Carr says 15,000 jobs are on the line and he notes Canada wants to broaden its markets in order to get away from supplying a single country – The US.
When the government killed off the Northern Gateway, there was jubilation, but it was short-lived when the government greenlighted the Trans-mountain project. Carr says while the government wants the project built, the court is dealing with the key question this week concerning consultations with First Nations and they will decide the fate of the project, but the government is sticking to its claim the project is in the nations best interest. That “best interest” is the catch-all phrase that could allow the government to override any opposition to any project.