Pipeline pronouncement: Liberals to pass judgment on Line 3, Northern Gateway - InfoNews

Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy

Pipeline pronouncement: Liberals to pass judgment on Line 3, Northern Gateway

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project's Westeridge loading dock (where the green tanks are pictured) is seen in Burnaby, B.C. on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
November 29, 2016 - 1:00 PM

OTTAWA - Months of government messaging on balancing economic growth with environmental stewardship will be put to the test Tuesday afternoon when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clears the air on at least two major pipeline proposals.

Trudeau will hold a news conference at 4:30 p.m. ET, after markets close, followed by a meeting with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

The Liberal government had promised decisions on two Enbridge projects by last Friday, but delayed the announcement until after cabinet had met with the prime minister — a meeting that took place Tuesday morning.

A third pipeline proposal from Kinder Morgan must be decided upon by Dec. 19.

The broad strokes of a year-long Liberal government effort to position the government between fossil fuel development advocates, indigenous groups and climate policy hawks played out during question period in the House of Commons.

Rona Ambrose, the Conservative interim leader, said it is not enough for the Liberals to approve major pipelines; it must then "champion them through to the end" in order to see that they actually get built.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, by contrast, accused the Liberals of a "Goldilocks approach" that has browbeat the Liberal party's own environmentally conscious, anti-pipeline MPs into silence.

Trudeau was happy to claim the middle ground.

"One side of this House wants us to approve everything and ignore indigenous communities and environmental responsibilities," he said.

"The other side of the House doesn't care about the jobs or the economic growth that comes with getting our resources to market."

The stalled Northern Gateway oil pipeline from Alberta through the Great Bear Rain Forest to Kitimat, B.C., has so far been thwarted in the courts for lack of proper indigenous consultation.

A less prominent Enbridge project would see the half-century-old Line 3 pipeline from Alberta through southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the United States replaced by an entirely new line about twice the current pipeline's capacity.

Both were supposed to be decided by the end of last week.

The Liberals are also mulling over Kinder Morgan's controversial bid to triple the capacity of its Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to the port in Burnaby, B.C., a project that has spawned protests from Victoria to Charlottetown.

The pipeline decisions follow weeks of Liberal government announcements on climate change policies, including an accelerated coal phase-out and a national floor price on carbon emissions starting in 2018.

Trudeau confirmed Tuesday that he'll be holding a meeting with provincial and territorial premiers as well as indigenous leaders on Dec. 9 in Ottawa, where the pan-Canadian climate plan will be the main focus of the agenda.

U.S. vice-president Joe Biden will also be making a visit to Ottawa on Dec. 8-9 — perhaps one last opportunity for the Liberals to showcase their environmental policy entente with outgoing President Barack Obama before president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration in January.

— Follow @BCheadle on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments
  • How this Kamloops couple is going zero waste
    KAMLOOPS - The first thing you notice when you walk into Haley Feller and Sam Birmingham's home is that it is so clean. Though their basement suite has no natural light the absence of cl
  • South Okanagan man gets letter from prisoner who shot him and left him for dead
    PENTICTON - When Ronald Teneycke one of the South Okanagan's most notorius prolific offenders, was declared a dangerous offender after months of court proceedings last March,Teneycke's las
  • Kamloops police seeking child and guardian
    KAMLOOPS - A boy and his aunt have not checked in for two days, and now RCMP are requesting the aunt make contact. Kamloops RCMP received a report to check the well being of a six-year-old b
  • Blood moon eclipse visible from southern Interior this weekend
    Residents of the southern B.C. Interior will have a prime seat for the total lunar eclipse this weekend if the weather cooperates. Overnight Sunday, Jan. 20, the full moon will become fully
  • TRENDING NOW: Leaf blower-powered sled
    %%nodefaultimage%% This Russian dad has raised the bar for improvised winter sliding devices. He blew away the competition by strapping a couple leaf blowers to his daughter's sled
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile