Local Politicians React To Trans Mountain Expansion Approval

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is officially getting the green light.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet made the announcement Tuesday that the project will move forward and that it is imperative to the future of the Canadian economy and our livelihood.

The Federal government purchased the pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion last May – and it has seen delays ever since.

During a press conference, the Prime Minister stated they will be meeting with Indigenous groups to seek out possible investors.

Mayor Don Scott commented on the decision in a release, calling it great news for our region and for the rest of our country.

“We support the safe and secure construction of energy infrastructure that will deliver our energy to tidewater in an efficient manner,” Scott said.

The Mayor notes building infrastructure that makes our energy resources accessible and available to export markets is critical for the economic success of Wood Buffalo, Alberta, and Canada as a whole.

“Today’s announcement is a commitment to our people and our region, and an investment in Canada’s future prosperity,” Scott added.

Premier Jason Kenney discussed the decision with reporters in Edmonton – saying while they are pleased; they won’t be fully satisfied until the pipeline is built.

Kenney feels this isn’t a victory for Alberta until shovels are in the ground.

“It’s just another step in a process that has frankly taken too long. And that’s why we will measure success not by today’s decision but by the beginning of actual construction and more importantly the completion of the pipeline.”

Both local MLA’s also voiced their reactions to news of the approval.

MLA for Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche, Laila Goodridge echoed the Premier’s sentiment that while the approval is fantastic – it doesn’t necessarily guarantee construction.

“It’s really important that we get a fair price for our country’s energy so that we can create good jobs and pay for all of our important public services,” Goodridge said. “We need to do whatever is within our power to get this done and it’s worth noting that policies in Bills such as Bill C-48 and C-69 pose a threat to our energy industry and our economy.”

Meanwhile, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Tany Yao feels it’s no time to start the celebration just yet.

Yao says it’s all hearsay until the October election takes place.

“That’s going to demonstrate where the tipping point in this is. Whether we can get our product to market and support our nation and garner much needed revenue for schools and hospitals or if they’re out to kill an industry. We’ll have to see.”

The Prime Minister says they expect shovels in the ground by this coming construction season.

However, no official date has been set – something Yao is extremely weary of.

“Prime Minister Trudeau has to recognize and be aware of these valuable contributions that our region makes to the entire nation – that this industry creates.”

The Alberta NDP’s also released a statement on the expansion approval with Energy Critic Irfan Sabir voicing their support on the decision.

“Today is a triumph for Alberta, and a testament to the will of Albertans,” Sabir said in a release.

“There is a not a school, hospital, road, bus, bike lane or port anywhere in the country that does not owe something to Alberta’s energy industry.”

Sabir notes that if the Federal government wants to make good on this promise – construction needs to start as soon as possible.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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