BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
It was news we all were hoping wouldn’t come, but unfortunately on April 8, Kinder Morgan announced that it was suspending work on the Trans Mountain Expansion project. The company also set a deadline of May 31 to come to a final decision about whether to proceed with this project.
Make no mistake this is devastating news for an industry that is still reeling from the Liberal government’s decision to veto approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline and kill the Energy East Pipeline, as well as Petronas’ decision not to move forward with Pacific NorthWest LNG.
If the Trans Mountain Expansion project does proceed, it would create tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Not only that, but government revenues from the project’s construction and the first 20 years of operation are projected to be $46.7 billion.
That’s why it is so important that the prime minister step up and provide more than just empty words to ensure this pipeline project moves forward.
Unfortunately, his actions so far make it difficult to see that actually happening. In fact, his government is making matters worse by imposing policies that harm the Canadian energy sector, like the carbon tax and new regulations that penalize Canadian oil exports.
Canada’s energy sector produces the most environmentally and socially responsible oil and gas in the world. It is hard to comprehend why the prime minister wouldn’t support our own industry, instead of continuing the reliance on oil imports from countries with deplorable human rights records.
It is also why earlier news that the Liberal government was actually going to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars studying why Canada’s oil and gas industry is falling behind the United States seems so absurd. As Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said about this study, “After years of failing to support job-creating pipelines, maybe he could just look in the mirror instead.”
I know many of you in the region rely on natural resource projects like the Trans Mountain Expansion to support your families. This latest development has only strengthened my resolve to champion projects like it.
I, along with my Conservative colleagues, have been working hard to support this approved project and the responsible development of our natural resources and we will continue to push the Liberal government to do the right thing and take concrete steps to support this vital national industry.
Let’s hope it’s not too late.