With the National Energy Board set to report February 22 on the marine impacts of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said last week the government won’t take any shortcuts in its review of the project—even though he understands how badly Alberta oil and gas workers want to get construction under way.
“We need to make sure that we are not cutting corners,” Sohi said Thursday, during a stop in Calgary to announce new solar energy funding. “We owe it to Alberta. We owe it to Alberta workers. We owe it to Canadians that we don’t get into the same situation that we got into the last time, which is very unfortunate.”
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With the NEB’s recommendation in hand, he said his department will prepare a report to cabinet once it concludes its consultations on the project with Indigenous communities. He wouldn’t say whether that process would lead to a decision or action before the federal election in October.
“I am not in a position to comment on that because my focus is fixing what has been broken and making sure we are moving forward on this project in the right way,” he told The Canadian Press. In discussions with 40 Indigenous groups so far, Sohi said he had heard concerns about land title, protections for water and fish, oil spill response, and marine safety.
If his words were “ to make sure we are moving forward on this project in the right way”, it implies that indeed they are moving forward with the pipeline and so then that is a decision that has already been reached before the consultations are even completed. How ridiculously transparent some of the talk has been in this regard. That is certainly not the first time I’ve heard this sort of wording around the topic.