Wall sounds off on En­ergy East

Sask. Premier blames fed­eral gov­ern­ment for can­cel­la­tion of Tran­sCanada Pipe­line project

Prince Albert Daily Herald - - CLASSIFIEDS - DAILY HER­ALD STAFF ed­i­to­rial@pa­her­ald.sk.ca

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is to blame for the can­cel­la­tion of the En­ergy East Pipe­line project.

On Thurs­day, Tran­sCanada Pipe­lines CEO Russ Gir­ling an­nounced that the com­pany would “no longer pro­ceed” with the $15.7 bil­lion project. If com­pleted the pipe­line would have trans­ported up to 850,000 bar­rels of oil per day from Western Canada to East­ern mar­kets.

In a post on Face­book, Wall said it was “a very bad day for the west,” and ac­cused the fed­eral gov­ern­ment of treat­ing the project with a mix­ture of ap­a­thy and con­tempt.

“Tran­sCanada made the de­ci­sion to can­cel En­ergy East – but make no mis­take, the rea­sons for it fall at the feet of Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment,” he wrote. “They have been, at best, am­biva­lent about the project and then moved the goal­posts at the last mo­ment by ask­ing the reg­u­la­tor to con­sider the im­pact of up­stream green­house gas emis­sions.”

Wall also took aim at Mon­treal Mayor De­nis Coderre, a former Lib­eral cab­i­net min­is­ter, who cel­e­brated Thurs­day’s de­ci­sion as a “ma­jor vic­tory.”

The Saskatchewan premier said the de­ci­sion would cause Que­bec and other east­ern prov­inces to be­come even more de­pen­dent on im­ported oil, while stalling eco­nomic devel­op­ment in Canada.

“We have a com­pany that com­mit­ted more than a bil­lion dol­lars to a project and made earnest ef­forts to ad­dress the con­cerns of the pub­lic and reg­u­la­tors. A com­pany that made 700 changes to its plans as part of that re­sponse,” Wall wrote. “Make no mis­take, other com­pa­nies’ de­ci­sion to in­vest in Canada will be in­formed by this de­ba­cle.”

Wall added that the de­ci­sion may leave western Cana­di­ans won­der­ing if the rest of the coun­try re­ally val­ued their con­tri­bu­tions.

“Some­thing needs to change,” he wrote. “For the west to con­tinue on like this in our fed­eral sys­tem is the equiv­a­lent of hav­ing Stock­holm syn­drome.”

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment re­leased a state­ment of their own on Thurs­day de­fend­ing their han­dling of the en­ergy sec­tor.

Nat­u­ral Re­sources Min­is­ter Jim Carr said Tran­sCanada Pipe­lines’ de­ci­sion was purely a busi­ness move, and pointed to other projects like the $11.6-bil­lion Tran­sMoun­tain and Line 3 pipe­lines as proof of a healthy and grow­ing in­dus­try.

“In mak­ing the de­ci­sion to ap­prove these projects, our gov­ern­ment took into con­sid­er­a­tion a wide va­ri­ety of in­for­ma­tion, data and sci­en­tific ev­i­dence, in­clud­ing the Na­tional En­ergy Board’s rec­om­men­da­tion re­port, the views of Cana­di­ans and en­hanced con­sul­ta­tions with In­dige­nous peo­ples,” Carr said in the re­lease.

“Our gov­ern­ment would have used the same process to eval­u­ate the En­ergy East Pipe­line project that saw the Tran­sMoun­tain ex­pan­sion and Line 3 projects ap­proved. Noth­ing has changed in the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion­mak­ing process.”

Prior to Thurs­day’s de­ci­sion, Tran­sCanada Pipe­lines had sought a 30-day sus­pen­sion of the En­ergy East and East­ern Main­line project ap­pli­ca­tions to con­duct a re­view of the changes an­nounced by the Na­tional En­ergy Board.

The com­pany cur­rently op­er­ates more than 91,500 km of nat­u­ral gas pipe­line across North Amer­ica.

Saskatchewan’s NDP also re­leased a state­ment on the can­cel­la­tion. They called Tran­sCanada’s de­ci­sion “dis­ap­point­ing,” but blamed the Saskatchewan Party’s “un­bal­anced ap­proach, rhetoric and grand­stand­ing” for fail­ing to move projects like En­ergy East for­ward.

HER­ALD FILE PHOTO

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall speaks at a cam­paign stop in Prince Al­bert dur­ing the 2016 pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

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