CALGARY _ Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said the federal government will step in when necessary to ensure the Trans Mountain expansion project gets built, but is giving few details on how it plans to do so.
“The government of Canada, as this process plays through, will be absolutely alert to any attempts to delay this project,” Carr said Thursday at an announcement regarding the restructuring of the National Energy Board.
“If there is an attempt by any government to infringe on federal jurisdiction in the national interest, then the government of Canada will intervene.”
Last week, the B.C. government created more uncertainty for the future of the $7.4-billion pipeline project to the West Coast by announcing plans for more consultations on oil spill readiness and a limit on increased diluted bitumen shipments until it’s confident in response measures.
The Alberta government has taken a strong stance against B.C.’s proposal, suspending electricity talks and halting B.C. wine imports in protest.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, as well as Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. CEO Ian Anderson, have called on the federal government to ensure the project gets built.
Carr said Ottawa has already intervened on delays through the National Energy Board, which exempted Kinder Morgan from some delayed permits in Burnaby, B.C., and approved a dispute resolution process for future permitting issues.
He said the federal government continues to talk with the provinces, including meetings today between officials from Ottawa and deputy ministers in B.C., but that no specific intervention is yet necessary from the B.C.’s proposed consultations.
“They haven’t done anything yet, they’re consulting.
“The government of British Columbia is free to consult, the government of British Columbia cannot infringe on federal jurisdiction that impacts the national interest.”