Liberals delay announcing fate of Line 3, Northern Gateway

Liberals delay announcing fate of 2 pipeline projects

TORONTO — The federal environment minister touted oil and gas as “essential bridges” to a low-carbon economy Friday even as the government delayed announcing the fate of two pipeline projects.

Catherine McKenna, who was speaking at an event hosted by the Toronto Board Region of Trade, said the government wasn’t ready to make an announcement about Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 pipeline replacement and the Northern Gateway pipeline, saying only that a decision would be made public “shortly.”

The government had previously set Friday as its deadline to rule on the projects, and the delay drew criticism from those who would like to see the pipelines approved.

“We want to see pipelines built, they create jobs,” Conservative House leader Candice Bergen told reporters Friday on Parliament Hill.

“They help get our natural resources to market. They help keep us competitive. We’ve seen in the U.S. the president-elect is clearly going to be going in the direction of building pipelines and more natural resources infrastructure. So we are big supporters of seeing pipelines built. But the Liberals, it’s almost like it’s an afterthought for them, if even that.”

“They told proponents, they gave their guarantee, that there would be a decision today. There’s no word from the Liberals, so that’s very concerning.”

McKenna would not discuss government deliberations on the proposals but said every project goes through a “robust” environmental assessment and consultation process.

Asked whether Canada could afford to reject the multibillion-dollar projects, the minister suggested the oil and gas industries would play a role in the government’s clean-energy plan.

“We know that we’re in a transition to a low-carbon future,” she said. “It’s not going to happen overnight and oil and gas is part of that transition.”

If the Line 3 project is approved, it would be the first oilsands pipeline expansion under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Line 3 would replace a decades-old conduit that runs from Hardisty, Alta., to Superior, Wisc., and double its capacity. Enbridge has described it is an essential safety and maintenance project.

The National Energy Board recommended Line 3’s approval in April, subject to 89 conditions.

Approval of the $7.5-billion Line 3 project would allow for exports to increase from 390,000 to 760,000 barrels a day since Enbridge has been running the 1960s-era pipeline at reduced capacity.

It also has the potential to be expanded to 915,000 barrels a day with further permitting and pump stations.

While the energy industry would welcome Line 3, environmentalists have decried the project for the increased emissions it would allow.

The government also has to decide whether to conduct further consultations with indigenous peoples on the Northern Gateway project.

The Federal Court of Appeal ruled earlier this year that the Harper government had failed in its duty to consult.

The Northern Gateway project by Enbridge would include two pipelines, one carrying oilsands bitumen from Alberta to a port in Kitimat, B.C., and a second carrying condensate â€” a form of natural gas used to dilute the bitumen â€” from Kitimat back to Alberta.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Sports Briefs: Skating, Seawolves and Rainmakers basketball

Wins all around, plus some mini Olympic fun

COCULLO & KURIAL: Reporters at home with Hometown Hockey

Everyone we interacted with went above and beyond to involve us in the experience.

IN OUR OPINION: Redesign the City of Prince Rupert

City gives Special Events Society and Arts Council the boot

PRPA Community Investment Fund hits its target once again

Prince Rupert Port Authority contributes $29,500 to revitalization of Rod and Gun Club

Only one week left for Santa Shops Here grand prize

Inland Air harbour tour for four up for grabs

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

BC Hydro offers tips as collisions with power poles increase

Region with the largest spike in collisions was the Lower Mainland at 16 per cent

Most Read