Chris Warkentin says the federal government needs to do something right away to deal with regulatory uncertainty from the current state of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The Conservative MP for Grande Prairie – Mackenzie argues Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to get rid of some of the red tape surrounding energy projects.
“He could actually just [start by] taking back some of the legislation that he has layered on to the industry over the last several months. He’s increased the regulatory burden for oil and gas companies, for investors in Canada; he has eviscerated all of the guaranteed timeframes in terms of if a project can move forward.”
In late August, the federal court of appeal overturned Ottawa’s approval of pipeline expansion, saying not enough was done to consult with Indigenous peoples. Warkentin calls the decision a “devastating blow” to energy workers in Alberta.
“It really undermines what Justin Trudeau had been promising. He had been saying that if provinces endorsed the carbon tax, if the government used taxpayers’ money to buy this pipeline, and if you brought in a whole bunch more regulations to stifle the energy sector across the country, that there would be a social licence to build this pipeline.”
An emergency meeting of the federal natural resources committee was held Tuesday in Ottawa but failed to produce results. The Liberals voted down a Conservative push for a probe into the future of the pipeline project and why the government decided to buy it with a court decision pending.
“We look to the government,” Warkentin said Friday. “We anticipate that they knew that this was a possibility so we’d like to hear from the Prime Minister on what is to get this project built.”
Alberta premier Rachel Notley responded to the court ruling by pulling out of the federal climate plan. Warkentin says he doesn’t fully believe her intentions, as she hasn’t gotten rid of Alberta’s carbon tax.