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Prime minister promised new timeline on Trans Mountain pipeline in weeks: Alberta premier

The Canadian Press
Prime minister promised new timeline on Trans Mountain pipeline in weeks: Alberta premier

CALGARY — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the federal government has promised a revised timeline within weeks to resume construction on the stalled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Notley says she is satisfied Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is committed to getting the project back online in good time, and her government is willing to work with him to make it happen.

But she says she expects Ottawa to move quickly given the investor uncertainty that has rippled out in all directions from last week’s Federal Court of Appeal decision on the project.

The Appeal Court quashed the expansion on the grounds that the federal government failed to properly consult Indigenous groups and the National Energy Board did not take into account the impact of increased tanker traffic on marine life, particularly endangered whales.

Notley says full consultation with Indigenous groups must be carried out but says it’s critical to the construction timeline that the government fix the marine impact assessment without restarting a lengthy hearing process.

The Trans Mountain expansion project would triple the capacity of the existing line, which takes oil products from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C.

Alberta says the project is critical and it is losing billions of dollars a year because the oil currently shipped to B.C. is sold at a discount to a captive market in the United States.

Notley and Trudeau met Wednesday in Edmonton to discuss the expansion project.

Ottawa has already done a lot of work beefing up marine safety on the B.C. coast and it’s Alberta’s hope that this work can be included in the missing impact assessment, Notley said Thursday.

In the meantime, Notley has pulled her government out of the federal climate plan, which includes a price on carbon, saying Alberta will return when it is satisfied the Trans Mountain project is back on track.

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