CAPP remains optimistic Trans Mountain will be built, but frustrated with delays

By Charles Lefebvre
April 18, 2019 - 2:59pm

MEDICINE HAT, AB — The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says they remain confident the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion will be built, although the continued delays are frustrating.

CAPP President and CEO Tim McMillan held a press conference in Toronto on Wednesday following the provincial election, saying the result could have positive benefit for the oil and gas industry,

On Thursday, the federal government announced the Trans Mountain Pipeline deadline has been extended, noting a decision will not be on made on May 22 as originally intended, but June 18.

Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, said Thursday the delay is to allow extended consultation with Indigenous groups.

The pipeline was delayed in August 2018 after the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the government’s approval of the project, saying the federal government failed to adequately consult First Nations groups about the project and it didn’t include an environment assessment on the impact of increased tanker traffic on killer whales.

McMillian, speaking to media on Wednesday, said he remained confident even before the Alberta election that the Trans Mountain Pipeline would be built. However, he added he remained frustrated by the delays in the project.

“We want to see more commitment from the federal government to get that project moving as soon as they can get the consultations concluded,” he said. “I think the results last night strengthened the hand of those that want a strong economy. Clearly, Albertans were calling for it. We see increasingly that Canadians are putting the economy first as we're coming to an election in the fall.”

Speaking during a press conference Thursday morning, Premier-Designate Jason Kenney says he was advised of the delay by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during their conversation on Wednesday, one day following the election.

Kenney says Trudeau told him government legal counsel had advised a two week extension to ensure proper consultation was completed.

“I agreed with the prime minister that they need need to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’ when it comes to discharging the federal government’s duty to consult,” Kenney told reporters on Thursday. “We certainly don’t want them going back to the drawing board a third time on this. And we will continue, on our part, to build an alliance across the country that supports TMX and other pipelines. We will continue to communicate the emergency of this to all Canadians.”

NDP leader Rachel Notley, speaking at the same press conference says she was disappointed with the decision about the Trans Mountain Pipeline, but wants to ensure the pipeline can withstand a legal challenge.

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