Saskatchewan premier forms cabinet committee on pipeline expansions
February 5, 2020 by The Canadian Press
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has put together a committee of cabinet ministers to assess how the government could help get more pipelines built in the province.
“Our government recognizes the necessity of further developing pipeline infrastructure to help our energy products reach key global markets,” Moe said in a statement.
Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Trade and Export Development, said because of the political risk around building pipelines, whether created through litigation or regulatory uncertainty, Saskatchewan will also consider taking equity positions in projects. Harrison, as well as the ministers of Environment, Energy and Resources, and Finance are in the group.
“It’s not ideal that you would have governments directly involved in this fashion in energy infrastructure projects, but the reality is that unless government’s are involved in energy infrastructure projects, they’re not going to get built,” Harrison told the Canadian Press.
“We do have an economic and policy interest in having these pipelines constructed and that requires government to have a role beyond advocacy.”
Harrison said the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a good example of government equity at work. He welcomed a decision from the Federal Court of Appeal on Feb. 4 which dismissed challenges to the project’s approval.
“This project needs to go forward as quickly as it can possibly go forward,” Harrison said.
Moe said the idea for the committee came from communities, Indigenous leaders and businesses that want to expand pipeline access into the United States or create it through the Port of Churchill in Manitoba.
The premier said encouraging pipeline expansion and supporting Indigenous participation are two of the goals in the government’s plan to grow Saskatchewan’s population and economy.
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