Alberta government warns Teck Frontier rejection would come at a cost
CALGARY -- Alberta’s Parks and Environment Minister says if the federal government pulls permission for a massive oilsands project, the move could permanently scare off international investors already wary of spending money in Canada.
"Teck Frontier has played by the rules," said Jason Nixon. "For Ottawa to change the rules at the 11th hour would be a devastating signal."
Vancouver-based Teck Resources wants to build a $20 billion mine in northern Alberta, capable of producing more than a quarter-million barrels of oil every day.
The mine has already been approved by energy regulators but now there are concerns the federal Liberal government could tear up that permission slip.
Alberta officials estimate the mine could create 7,000 jobs within the province.
"There is no excuse for the federal government not to approve the project," said Nixon, "And, let me be clear, this will be a clear indication of how serious the prime minister is about unity."
Nixon also says his conversations with his federal counterparts indicate the project will be approved, despite recent rumours otherwise.
"Hopefully that’s were there headed," said Nixon. "And if it’s not, that would be more than disappointing from a provincial government perspective. It would create a significant problem between the federal government and the province of Alberta."
Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, questions the urgency for the approval of the project.
“The Teck mine proposal would just join the twenty other oil sands projects sitting on the shelf because they don’t make economic sense in a world moving away from oil," said Stewart in a statement to CTV News. "The rest of Canada needs to support the workers and communities currently dependent on oil through the necessary transition to a zero-carbon economy, rather than offer the false hope of an oil boom that never ends."
Recent reports said Ottawa may consider some sort of bailout to Alberta if the multi-billion dollar project is scrapped, but Nixon says that won’t solve or change anything
"Albertans are not looking for a Justin Trudeau handout, we are not interested in that," said Nixon. "We want Justin Trudeau’s government to get out of Alberta’s way."
The federal government’s decision on the fate of the mine is expected by the end of February.