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

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Thrilling finish to 59th All Native Tournament

Kitamaat, Hydaburg, Port Simpson and Kitkatla win championships in 2018 All Native Tournament

Day 6 from the All Native Basketball Tournament

Scores from Feb. 16 and finals matchups at the All Native Tournament in Prince Rupert, B.C.

Day 5 of the All Native Basketball Tournament

Scores from Feb. 15 at the All Native Tournament in Prince Rupert

Queen Charlotte voters test sewage plan ahead of Feb. 24 referendum

Comparing Martynuik Road site and Skidegate tie-in a key issue at council Q & A

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

Most Read