Today is a devastating day for Albertans and a dark day for Canada. The Federal Court of Appeal has effectively ended our hopes of getting Alberta’s energy to tidewater through the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.
To explain what’s happened:
1. Kinder Morgan submitted a proposal to the National Energy Board (NEB) to build the Trans Mountain expansion project.
2. The NEB review process resulted in the recommendation to approve the construction of the pipeline.
3. The Federal Liberal Cabinet took the recommendation of the NEB and approved the construction of the pipeline.
4. A new NDP – Green coalition government was formed in British Columbia, which opposed all pipelines to tidewater.
5. The BC Government, environmental activists and some groups of indigenous people brought multiple legal challenges to stop the construction on the pipeline.
6. In response to an announcement by Kinder Morgan that political uncertainty would prevent them from pursuing the project any further, the Federal Government announced the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline to ensure its construction.
7. Today, the Federal Court of Appeal halted the approved construction of the pipeline project. The ruling said that the Government of Canada “Must re-do its Phase III consultation. Only after that consultation is completed and any accommodation made can the project again be put before the Governor in Council for approval.
The Alberta NDP and Federal Liberals have been touting a ‘social license’, attained through a job-killing carbon tax levied on Alberta families, saying that it will get pipelines built. Clearly, their approach of implementing a carbon tax hasn’t worked. Social license has proven to be a myth, not turning the opinion of a single anti-pipeline voice in the country.
So when this approach failed, our government looked to buy pipelines with taxpayer money and today just hours ago Kinder Morgan shareholders approved the sale with a 99% vote. Taxpayers are now the owner of a pipeline at a significant cost of billions of dollars with little hope of ever seeing it built.
This ruling will have lasting consequences for our province and for that matter, Canada as a whole. The Federal Court of Appeal has ignored real life consequences by shutting down a project that is deemed a national interest. Our courts are the ones who have truly let us down. Now we can expect more investment to flee our province even faster than it was. This likely will mean further jobs lost and will lead to the eventuality of a lower standard of living for everyone in Alberta.
This is a portion of United Conservative Leaders Jason Kenney statement that was just released which I wholeheartedly agree with. “We urge the federal government to explore every avenue possible to get the Trans Mountain expansion back on track, including but not limited to an immediate appeal to the Supreme Court, re-engagement of the consultation process, and potential legislation. This is especially important given that every Canadian citizen is now a shareholder in the Trans Mountain pipeline. We cannot allow this critically important project to die.”