Decision day: Prime Minister announces approval of Trans Mountain expansion project
Published Tuesday, June 18, 2019 6:43AM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 18, 2019 6:21PM MDT
The future of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project was decided on Tuesday, months after the Federal Court of Appeal shelved the project.
The expansion would twin an already existing pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby B.C., tripling its crude capacity.
The Liberal Government spent $4.5 billion on the pipeline in an attempt to get it built before a court decided adequate consultations with Indigenous communities were not conducted.
Groups with an interest in the pipeline continued to push to have the project approved right up to the 11th hour.
Hours before the announcement, the federal Conservatives sent out a statement saying that an approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion ‘will come as no surprise’ and that ‘approving it for a third time is meaningless.’
“The question is when will it get built. The Liberals still have absolutely no plan for construction,” said Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and the Official Opposition, in the press release.
A June 17 release from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers urged the project to be approved and its construction started early this summer.
The statement said that if the project gets stalled until after the October election ‘we will miss the construction season, which means at least another year of delay. Not only does this equal additional costs for the project, it further delays the thousands of jobs.’
An anti-pipeline protest is planned for Tuesday evening in downtown Vancouver. The event is being organized by the Coast Protectors and Wilderness Committee and about 100 people are expected to attend.
The federal government approved the expansion project following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
Construction is slated to begin later this year on the expansion and according to Prime Minister Trudeau, it will create ‘thousands of jobs.’