Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is shown in Calgary, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

VIDEO: Kenney wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Alberta’s premier says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to move swiftly to approve the Teck Frontier oilsands mine north of Fort McMurray.

Jason Kenney says there is no reason to delay the go-ahead for the $20.6-billion project near Wood Buffalo National Park in northeastern Alberta.

A federal-provincial review last summer determined Frontier would be in the public interest, even though it would be likely to harm the environment and the land, resources and culture of Indigenous people.

“Their current deadline is the end of February for a decision … and I’ve been very clear to the prime minister … if they say no to this project, then they are signalling his earlier statement that he wants to phase out the oilsands,” Kenney said Monday.

Trudeau commented at a town hall meeting in January 2017 that his government was attempting to balance economic and environmental concerns.

“We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels, but it’s going to take time, and, in the meantime, we have to manage that transition,” Trudeau said at the time.

The Frontier mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta., would produce 260,000 barrels of oil a day and about four million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, for more than 40 years.

The federal government must make a decision by the end of February under the Environmental Assessment Act.

Kenney said it’s time that the federal Liberals start listening to the majority of First Nations leaders who support projects such as Teck, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northeastern B.C.

“I implore the federal government. If reconciliation means something, surely it means saying ‘yes’ to economic development for First Nations people.”

Kenney was speaking at an announcement of the new board of directors for the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corp. The Crown corporation plans to allocate up to $1 billion in support, such as loan guarantees, to qualified First Nations seeking an equity position in major resource projects.

The communities need to come up with $20 million for investment, but can receive support of up to $250 million.

Kenney said the corporation could provide financial support to a group seeking to buy a stake in the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain project.

“We continue to discuss this with the federal government,” he said. “The prime minister has expressed an interest in selling a stake to First Nations. If that future potential First Nations consortium comes forward to the (Alberta corporation) with an application, I’m sure it will be given serious consideration.”

READ MORE: B.C. and Alberta Indigenous leaders protest major Teck oilsands project

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

oil & gas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Masset Dance Troupe presents beachfront ‘promenade performance’

Troupe performed ‘A Mid Summer Day’s Dream’ for family, friends on July 4 and 5

UPDATE: Masset anti-racism rally postponed

The Yahk’ii event, which means ‘truth’ in Haida, will be rescheduled at a later date

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

Registration open for first-annual ‘NextIslandpreneur’ student business competition

Competition offers mentors, iPads, seed money, cash prizes to young entrepreneurs on Haida Gwaii

Haida Nation reminds ‘select few’ fishing lodges that Haida Gwaii is closed to non-essential travel

‘Upholding Haida law amid COVID-19’ release comes one day before Queen Charlotte Lodge plans to reopen

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read