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MP Shannon Stubbs says feds did not plan to decide in 90 days on Trans Mountain

MP Shannon Stubbs speaks at a pipeline rally outside of Bonnyville in January.

After the federal government pushed back the decision day on the Trans Mountain Pipeline from May 22 into late June last Friday, Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs said that the federal government had no plan to decide by the original deadline.

Stubbs issued a statement on the government’s decision and said this pushback will ensure that no pipe will go in the ground during the summer construction period.

“The Trans Mountain Expansion was expected to be completed and in service by December 2019. Instead, construction will not have started by then – and there is a real risk the Liberals could cancel this project for political reasons,” said Stubbs.

“Canadians should be concerned about the fact that the Liberal cabinet approved the extension last week, but waited until the day before the Easter long-weekend to announce it, and clearly delayed making the extension public until after the Alberta election.

“Their failure to make a decision by the original deadline will cause the Trans Mountain Expansion to miss the summer construction season, significantly delaying the completion timeline.”

Currently, the federal government is consulting with Indigenous groups before their reconsideration decision on the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline project between Alberta and British Columbia on June 18.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said that First Nations groups requested the extension.

“Their [the federal government’s] mistakes in consulting Indigenous peoples added eight months and counting to the six-month delay the Liberals already imposed on the project in 2016, for which they still refuse to set a deadline,” said Stubbs.

Over 100,000 oil and gas sector jobs have been lost since 2015, said Stubbs, which she laid at the feet of the Liberal government and added that delays on Trans Mountain will drive more jobs out of Canada.

The majority of Canadians and impacted indigenous communities all support the completion of the Trans Mountain Expansion, Stubbs said.

“The mistakes the Liberals made on the Trans Mountain Expansion, their ‘no more pipelines’ Bill C-69 and other anti-energy policies and legislation have destroyed Canada’s reputation as a stable, fair, predictable destination for energy investment,” she said.

The federal government bought the Trans Mountain expansion project last year from Kinder Morgan for US$3.4 billion (C$4.5 billion).