EDMONTON – Two federal cabinet ministers are making appearances in Alberta today following the Trudeau government’s controversial second approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton, while Finance Minister Bill Morneau will address an Economic Club of Canada breakfast in Calgary.
The appearances in oil-rich Alberta come a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave approval to build the stalled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would carry diluted bitumen from Alberta to an export terminal near Vancouver.
In a news conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Trudeau attempted to strike a balance between finding new markets for Canadian oil and his party’s own branding as protectors of the environment.
The decision to approve the project a second time came nine months after the Federal Court of Appeal quashed Ottawa’s initial approval, citing incomplete consultations with Indigenous communities and a faulty environmental review.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was among those applauding the federal government’s decision on Tuesday, while expressing skepticism the project will actually be completed.
“This second approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline isn’t a victory to celebrate. It’s just another step in a process that has frankly taken too long,” Kenney said.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer also scoffed at the idea the pipeline would ever be built, and cast doubts on Trudeau’s sincerity about supporting the energy industry.
“He hasn’t done anything,” Scheer said. “Show me the pipeline. Where is it?”
On the other end of the political spectrum, Green party Leader Elizabeth May and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh were unequivocal in their opposition to Trudeau’s decision.
The project has also caused major friction between British Columbia and Alberta. Trudeau called both Kenney and B.C. Premier John Horgan to inform them of the decision Tuesday.
Horgan said Tuesday he reiterated his concerns about the potential of a marine spill.