The election of a minority federal government under Justin Trudeau doesn’t change B.C.’s position on oil and natural gas projects, B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman says.
Commenting Tuesday on the re-election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals with a minority mandate, Heyman said B.C. continues its opposition to twinning the Trans Mountain oil pipeline from Alberta to the B.C. coast.
“We will be continuing to do what we’ve been doing for two years, standing up for B.C.,” Heyman said.
The B.C. NDP has supported the LNG Canada pipeline and export facility at Kitimat, extending tax incentives to help the $40 billion plan come to fruition. Heyman said he doesn’t expect federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to attempt to stop it in a minority government, and the province’s CleanBC plan focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“I don’t see any change,” Heyman said. “Mr. Singh has said he sees a long-term future of moving away from fossil fuels. LNG Canada has been approved, it fits within CleanBC, and it currently being constructed in terms of the work camp and other plans are underway.”
The Edmonton-based Progressive Contractors Association of Canada, representing the majority of contractors on the Trans Mountain expansion project, congratulated Trudeau on his re-election.
“After a distracting and divisive campaign, it’s time for Canadians to get back to building this country’s future,” association president Paul de Jong said Tuesday. “We’re urging the Liberal government to demonstrate its commitment to ‘choosing forward’ by delivering quickly on its commitment to rebuild Canada’s aging infrastructure across all regions.”
The Trudeau government green-lighted the Trans Mountain project for a second time this past summer, and on the eve of the federal election campaign in late August, the now-federally owned Trans Mountain Corp. gave notice to its main construction contractors that it had 30 days to begin “hiring workers, procuring goods and services and developing detailed construction work plans.”
The project has faced more than a dozen legal challenges, nearly all of which were rejected by courts, and more may come forward as individual property owners along the pipeline route dispute the disturbance to their land.