The Government of Canada is outlining its next steps to ensure construction moves forward on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
The $7.4 billion project was halted last month after the Federal Court of Appeal found the National Energy Board made a ‘crucial error’ in its application and that the federal government didn’t fully consult with Indigenous groups.
In a statement Friday, Minister of Natural Resources Armajeet Sohi says they’ve instructed the NEB to reconsider the project’s impact on marine life and will present the board with information on recent actions to protect the southern resident killer whale and to implement the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan.
“Today’s announcement represents one important step towards addressing issues raised by the Federal Court of Appeal while continuing to deliver the highest levels of marine protection that Canadians expect,” said Sohi.
The NEB has 22-weeks to report back to the government.
In an effort to further protect marine life, the federal government also intends to appoint a special marine technical advisor to the NEB.
Another important step in getting the project back up and running is consultation with Indigenous communities. Details of what the government plans to do are expected at a later date.
“Our Government remains committed to finding the best path forward following the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in consultation with Indigenous groups,” added Sohi.
Premier Notley calls 22-week timeline ‘reasonable’
Premier Rachel Notley feels the 22-week deadline imposed by the federal government is reasonable.
During a press conference held hours after the Liberal’s unveiled their next steps, Notley said the timeline is in line with what they knew was the best case scenario when the FCA made its ruling.
She notes the issue now is that the timeline is actually set in stone.
“I must say, we still remain a little bit skeptical, so too are Albertans I suspect, and as a result, we will be watching very closely, said Notley.
“We will not tolerate legal game playing and should it start to appear that game playing is working, we’ll hold Ottawa’s feet to the fire.”
Notley reiterated Alberta will not participate in the national climate plan until Trans Mountain is approved.