Fort McMurray politicians are not pleased with the temporary halting of the Trans Mountain Project.
The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed applications for the project made by the National Energy Board yesterday, siding with multiple Indigenous groups and cities in British Columbia.
The FCA says the NEB made a crucial error when defining the scope of the project – as they did not mention “project related tanker traffic” in their application.
MLA for Fort McMurray Conklin Laila Goodridge tells Mix News it’s a frustrating and disappointing outcome.
“It’s very clear that this is a sad day for Canada and a sad day for Fort McMurray. This is a project that is in the national interest and as a town that strongly relies on oil, this is going to hurt our community.”
In addition, the FCA also cited lack of consultation between the Federal Liberals and B.C.’s Indigenous communities as reasons for the stoppage.
Goodridge adds the Federal government needs to ensure the project is built – for the economic sake of all Canadians.
“There needs to be an immediate appeal to the Supreme court, re-engagement in the consultation process and potential legislation. This is especially important given that every Canadian citizen is now a shareholder in the Trans Mountain pipeline. We cannot allow this critically significant project to die.”
Meanwhile, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Tany Yao also voiced his concerns about the FCA’s ruling.
Yao feels the ruling will likely have negative implications on our local economy.
“I’ve talked to some people and everybody is frustrated,” Yao said. “It is going to hurt our community because it is going to discourage investment in our community. If we can’t get this product out, no one is going to be interested in developing and investing in our region and that’s what really hurts us. This is just really unfortunate.”
Yao and Goodridge’s concerns echo that of the Leader of Canada’s Conservatives, Andrew Scheer, who called the ruling on the pipeline “Justin Trudeau’s personal failure.”
In addition, Mayor Don Scott issued a statement regarding the decision to quash the federal government’s approvals to build the expansion.
“I am very disappointed that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is not proceeding as anticipated. This critical piece of national infrastructure is much needed and will play a major role in helping create a stronger region, while the long-term social and economic benefits positively impact all our residents, Albertans and Canadians.
Scott adds the project is in the national interest and can only help the oil sands industry be more efficient, effective and sustainable.
“When we succeed, Canada succeeds. We will continue to work alongside all of our partners, including the federal government, the provincial government, our Indigenous communities, industry, local business, workers and our residents to advocate for this project. It needs to move ahead as soon as possible and it needs to be done the right way.
Scott also says he remains confident and optimistic for the results of a renewed, open and transparent process that will secure the next step in moving this project forward.
Premier Rachel Notley is expected to address the FCA’s decision on Thursday evening.