Government of Canada announces pipeline plan that creates jobs and protects the environment
By On-Site MagazineConstruction Green Construction Infrastructure pipeline
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, and Canada’s Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, have announced several important decisions that will create more good, middle-class jobs while protecting environmentally-sensitive areas.
- Trans Mountain Expansion Project: the Government has approved Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project, subject to 157 binding conditions that will address potential Indigenous, socio-economic and environmental impacts, including project engineering, safety and emergency preparedness. This $6.8-billion project will create 15,000 new jobs during construction by twinning the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton, Alta. and Burnaby, B.C. It will also provide access to global markets and generate significant direct economic benefits, including $4.5 billion in federal and provincial government revenues.
- Northern Gateway Pipelines Project: the Government has directed the National Energy Board (NEB) to dismiss Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipelines Project application. The Government has determined that the project is not in the public interest, given that it would result in crude oil tankers transiting through the sensitive ecosystem of the Douglas Channel, which is part of the Great Bear Rainforest.
- Tanker Moratorium: the Government has announced a moratorium on crude and persistent oil tankers along British Columbia’s north coast. This area spans the Alaska–B.C. border down to the point on B.C.’s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and includes Haida Gwaii. The Government made this decision following consultations with stakeholders including Indigenous groups and communities. The Government will introduce legislation to implement the moratorium by the spring of 2017.
- Line 3 Replacement Project: the Government has approved Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project, subject to 37 binding conditions that will address potential Indigenous, socio-economic and environmental impacts. This will ensure the pipeline and facilities are built and operated in a manner that is safe for Canadians and the environment. This $4.8-billion project will replace 1,067 kilometres of existing pipeline from Hardisty, Alta., to Gretna, Manitoba, to enhance its safety and integrity. The project will generate significant economic benefits, including $514.7 million in federal and provincial government revenues and 7,000 new jobs during construction. It also provides a vital link to the North American refinery market for Canadian oil.
“Canadians expect the Government of Canada to help grow the economy while protecting the environment. This tanker moratorium is another example of how this can be achieved, and shows our commitment to establishing a world-leading marine safety system that meets the unique needs of Canada from coast-to-coast-to-coast, said Garneau.
In making its decision to approve the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and the Line 3 Replacement Project, the Government took into consideration a wide variety of information and data, including the NEB’s recommendation report, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s assessment of upstream greenhouse gas emissions, the views of Canadians and enhanced consultations with Indigenous peoples. The report from the Ministerial Panel for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project was also considered. The outcomes of all of these processes are available to Canadians online.
“Our duty is to permit infrastructure so Canada’s resources get to market in a more environmentally-responsible way, creating jobs and a thriving economy. Today’s announcements also demonstrate that when the Government determines projects are not in the public interest, we will act accordingly and make the tough decisions,” said Carr.
The Government of Canada is committed to working in partnership with Indigenous communities. To address specific interests identified by Indigenous groups and to build on existing partnerships some have with the proponent, the Government announced that it will co-develop advisory and monitoring committees with Indigenous communities to provide ongoing environmental monitoring for each of the two projects. The Government will also establish an Economic Pathways Partnership for each pipeline that will make it easier for Indigenous groups to access existing federal programs that help them participate in and benefit economically from this project.
In reaching its decision on the Northern Gateway Pipelines Project, the Government considered the Joint Review Panel Report, the views of Indigenous communities and those of other Canadians as represented to the Joint Review Panel, as well as the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal.