Yesterday afternoon, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Trans Mountain pipeline project had been approved by cabinet.
The multi-billion dollar and highly controversial project would triple crude capacity from the Alberta oilfields to a tanker facility on the Pacific coast in British Columbia. Approval does not mean the end of the controversy however, nor that the project will now proceed smoothly.
Warren Mabee (PhD) is the director of Queen’s University Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy
With the announcement the two widely separated sides of the pipeline issue, remain steadfastly divided. A protest rally in Vancouver was staged the same day as the approval announcement, while businesses along the route are happy about the prospect of increased economic benefits.
Other groups have said they will launch legal challenges to the pipeline, or in the case of the province, continue to challenge the project in the Supreme Court of Canada.
Greenpeace Canada released a statement today which reads in part, ”The climate crisis demands an all-hands-on-deck response to meet the demands of science and justice, not another multi-billion dollar subsidy to the oil industry to make the problem worse”.
An opposition New Democratic Party member of Parliament from northern B.C noted that it seemed “passing strange” that the government would declare Canada is in a climate emergency on Monday and then announce the pipeline project on Tuesday.
Various Liberal ministers are now travelling across the country to promote the project.
Professor Mabee estimates that with no legal or protest impediments, the earliest completion date would be about 18 months from now, but with challenges and/or protests, possibly double that time frame.
- Vancouver Sun: D Carrigg: Jun 18/19: Reaction to approval
- CBC: TV news report-reaction to approval
- Vancouver Sun: R Shaw: Jun 19/19: Disappointed BC Premier will continue pipeline fight
- Global News: Jun 19/19: TV report- reaction
- Global News: Jun 19/19: interview with Grand Chief Stewart Phillip – Union of BC Indian Chiefs
- CBC: Jun 18/19 : Push for construction to start immediately