The Trudeau government has announced another delay in the long-awaited decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline extension.
Purchased by the federal government last year from Kinder Morgan, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi said the further delay is for more consultation with indigenous groups.
“Our obligation is to ensure that we are engaging in a meaningful two-way dialogue,” he said.
“That we are listening to concerns, that we are offering accommodations.”
The National Energy Board, after endorsing the project, gave the federal government 90 days to decide whether the pipeline extension can be approved for not.
The new delay, now June 18, well exceeds that 90 days period.
Conservative Natural resources critic Shannon Stubbs blasted the latest announcement.
“Today’s announcement, two days after the Alberta election and the day before the Easter long weekend, confirms that the Liberals have no plan to get the Trans Mountain expansion built,” she said.
“The Liberals never had a plan to meet the 90-day deadline to make a decision.”
The delay until June 18 will ensure that the House of Commons will have wrapped up for the summer by the time the final decision is made.
Trans Mountain was purchased last year by the federal government for $4.5 billion, paying over $1 billion more than it was worth.
Despite claiming to require more consultation with indigenous people, many first nations are upset with the government’s handling of the project.
Stephen Buffalo, CEO of the Indian Resource Council, a group of 134 First Nations with oil and gas resources on their land, expressed his concerns in an interview with CTV.
“The Indian Resource Council has reached out to Minister Sohi and has been ignored,” Buffalo said.
“The Minister of Finance laughed at me when I said ‘we should talk about this pipeline’. He said ‘there’s no pipeline to talk about’,” Buffalo continued.
Unless the federal government can sufficiently placate first nations and environmental groups, Canadians may never see this pipeline built.