As a proud Albertan, I know how important the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) is to our province and our entire country. It allows us to expand our access to international markets beyond the United States and allows us to get a better price for our oil. Alberta’s oil and gas sector has been a major source of good, well-paying jobs for the middle class that support families from across Canada, and our government will continue to stand with Alberta’s energy sector.
We approved the Trans Mountain Expansion project because this project is good for Canada. The pipeline went through a rigorous assessment process led by the National Energy Board (NEB). After the Board’s approval, our government undertook additional and extensive consultations with Indigenous communities along the route to hear their concerns and find solutions to address them. This project faced the most exhaustive review of any pipeline in Canadian history.
Following our approval and the approval by the province of British Columbia, Kinder Morgan moved forward on TMX. It began working on meeting the conditions set out by the NEB and getting formal approval on a detailed route for this project. They also began work at the Westridge Terminal in Burnaby.
Despite misleading claims from the Conservatives, TMX was progressing as planned until BC Premier John Horgan’s obstructions created significant risk for the project that led the proponent to suspend all non-essential work on the expansion.
Ever since, we have been working with Kinder Morgan and the province of Alberta to ensure construction moves ahead on TMX this summer. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit mile zero of the Trans Mountain expansion project with the Prime Minister and my friend and colleague Randy Boissonnault, the MP for Edmonton Centre.
Our government did not take the purchasing of Trans Mountain lightly. We took decisive action in the best interests of all Canadians. The actions of Premier Horgan created a situation that required the federal government’s intervention to ensure this project moves ahead. In recent weeks, we have put in place the appropriate support and last week we delivered a plan to move the project forward this summer.
The federal government directly investing in the private sector is nothing new. In our recent history, when important industries have faced difficulties, the Canadian government has been there to support them. In the 1980s the government invested in the Hiberina Offshore Oil Platform. The previous government led by Stephen Harper invested in Chrysler and General Motors in 2009 by taking a financial stake in the companies. Both the previous government and our government provided financial support to Bombardier through loans and guarantees. And here in Alberta the federal government took equity positions in Syncrude and the provincial government took a stake in Suncor.
Unfortunately, the Conservative Members of Parliament from Alberta have opposed our government’s action to ensure the Trans Mountain project is built. Their rhetoric and partisan gestures undermine the importance of ensuring this project moves forward to create jobs for Alberta families. They say publicly that they want to see this pipeline built but then criticize the government when we make a bold decision to make sure it actually happens. Now is the time to put partisanship aside and support this project that is in the national interest.
By ensuring that this pipeline is built, we are investing in creating good jobs, securing new and expanding markets for our natural resources, and ensuring that Canada’s energy sector continues to grow in a responsible and sustainable way. In short, we are investing in the future prosperity of all Canadians.