Trans Mountain pipeline work. (Trans Mountain photo)

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

The federal Liberal government is giving the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion a second lease on life.

“Today, I’m announcing that our government has approved the Trans Mountain expansion project going forward,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa after markets closed Tuesday.

“This is a new decision. The company plans to have shovels in the ground this construction season.”

The decision to reapprove the project comes nine months after the Federal Court of Appeal ripped up the original federal approval, citing incomplete Indigenous consultations and a faulty environmental review. Trudeau says the court said the government needed to better.

“And you know what?” Trudeau said. “They were right.”

The Liberals ordered the National Energy Board to look at marine shipping impacts; Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi started another round of consultations with Indigenous communities affected by the project.

Tuesday’s decision also comes the day after the Liberals passed a motion in the House of Commons declaring climate change a national emergency that would require more cuts to emissions than have already been promised.

In 2016, the National Energy Board said the production of another 590,000 barrels of oil, which would maximize the twinned pipeline’s capacity, could generate 14-17 million more tonnes of greenhouse gases each year, which means Canada would have to find ways to cut more from other sectors to meet and then exceed its current targets.

Trudeau says he is sympathetic to concerns about the environment and the need to transition to cleaner sources of energy, but says that in order to fund that transition, Canada needs to take advantage of its natural resources while they are still needed.

“The policies of the last century will not serve Canadians in this one,” he said.

READ MORE: Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

The government will require that every dollar in federal revenue coming from the project be reinvested in clean energy and green technology. That includes an estimated $500 million a year in new annual corporate tax revenues once the pipeline is in service, as well as any revenues from the promised sale of the entire expanded pipeline back to the private sector.

“To those who want sustainable energy and a cleaner environment, know that I want that too,” said Trudeau. “But in order to bridge the gap between where we are and where we’re going, we need money to pay for it.”

Trudeau says construction will restart this construction season, but there is no specific date yet. Trans Mountain Canada will have to apply a second time for all the necessary federal, provincial and municipal permits before breaking ground.

The federal cabinet is also requiring another consultation with Indigenous communities affected by the project to determine how they can potentially become economic partners in the project.

The government has accepted the 156 conditions the National Energy Board put on the project approval, but is amending six of them to include requiring Indigenous communities to be involved in developing marine emergency response plans, mitigating potential impacts on sacred sites, and Indigenous involvement in post-construction environmental impact reporting.

There are also eight new accommodations required to take into account Indigenous concerns, including working with some communities to potentially move the route.

PHOTOS: Rival protests highlight B.C.’s divide over pipeline projec

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Automated phone scam targets Shuswap residents

Scammers may be spoofing a local number and claiming they are with the CRA

Okanagan and Shuswap MPs want federal funds to help stop invasive species

Concerns raised that spending favours Eastern Canada.

Homeowners arrive in North Shuswap to find thieves busy breaking in

Chase RCMP request assistance from public in tracking down suspects

Driver in North Shuswap observed vomiting after crashing vehicle, then running

Chase RCMP say woman was impaired, given 90-day driving prohibition

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Most Read