by Morinville News Staff
The Federal Court of Appeal quashed the Trans Mountain expansion approval Thursday, resulting in legal limbo and more consultation for the project and immediate criticism from both federal and provincial conservatives.
Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer said the federal government was buying a $4.5 billion pipeline it cannot even build.
“This is Justin Trudeau’s personal failure,” Scheer said in a media release Thursday.
“For over a year and a half, Canadians have waited for Trudeau to come up with a concrete plan to ensure this pipeline project is completed. Instead, he offered one delay after another, and the ruling today shows that he couldn’t even carry out his own government’s consultation process. He has now left Canadian taxpayers on the hook for a pipeline that he isn’t allowed to build, jeopardizing jobs and investment at the same time as our economy faces the uncertainty of NAFTA re-negotiations, tax hikes, and Liberal deficits.
Scheer went on to say The Trans Mountain pipeline is crucial to oil and gas workers across the country and to the regional economies that would benefit from its expansion. That includes 43 First Nation communities that have benefit agreements worth $400 million.
Here in Alberta, United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney said today was a sad day for Canada and Alberta’s ability to move major national interest projects forward.
“Albertans have every right to be angry and frustrated by the apparent inability of governments across the country to build economically critical infrastructure,” Kennet said. “We cannot function as a prosperous, modern society with an ever-changing legal standard on issues like environmental impact and Indigenous consultation.”
Kenney went on to say the federal government engaged in good faith negotiations, but the National Energy Board ultimately determined it has no jurisdiction over marine traffic.
“Now the goal posts are moving yet again,” Kenney said.
“Today’s ruling makes it abundantly clear that the Federal Court of Appeal has no regard for the real-world economic impact this decision will have on ordinary Canadians’ lives and livelihoods. It is incredibly disappointing to see our judicial branch working against the best interests of the nation.”
Kenney urged the federal government to explore all avenues to get the Trans Mountain expansion back on track.
“This is not about electoral politics,” he said. “This is just bad for Canadians. Period.”
Premier Rachel Notley will hold a press conference at 6 p.m.Thursday, which will be live-streamed on the Premier’s Facebook page.
“We face a serious situation,” Notley said in a Facebook post on the live stream. “Tonight, during a live televised address, I will talk to Albertans about how we are defending Alberta’s resources, jobs, and the future of our province.”