Kenney says it's time to act on Trans Mountain

By Charles Lefebvre
June 18, 2019 - 5:10pm

EDMONTON, AB — Premier Jason Kenney is welcoming the federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, however he notes it’s now time for the government to act.

Kenney responded to the federal approval Tuesday afternoon in Edmonton, saying the province appreiciates the decision, but says it’s long overdue.

“This second approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline isn't a victory to celebrate, it's just another step in a process that has frankly taken too long, and that's why we'll measure success not by today's decision, but by the beginning of actual construction, and more importantly, by completion of the pipeline,” Kenney said during the news conference.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion was approved by the federal government Tuesday afternoon for the second time. It was initially approved in 2016.

In 2018, the province of British Columbia attempted to propose a restriction on the amount of diluted bitumen that can be imported from Alberta into the province. The decision led to tension between the governments of Alberta and British Columbia.

The federal government purchased the pipeline from Kinder Morgan in April of 2018, to ensure the project would be built. However, in August 2018, the Federal Court of Appeal struck down the original approval, saying the government did not adequately consult with First Nations groups and there was no environmental assessment regarding the impact of increased tanker traffic on killer whales.

Kenney says the federal government should never have gotten to the point where the economy was depending on the approval of one pipeline project to the coast.

He says the next several months will be crucial for Canada.

“This is now a test for Canada to demonstrate to the world that we are a safe place in which to invest, create jobs and build infrastructure,” Kenney said. “This is a test for whether Canada truly is an economic union, where we can dream big and still do big things.

“This is a test for our economic future, because right now, without market access to global energy markets, we are massively underselling one of our country’s greatest assets.”

Trudeau said construction will begin this construction season, but an exact date was not revealed.

UPDATE: Crescent Heights collision cleared