Our government has approved the construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. I am honored to be part of a government that listened to Edmontonians and to Canadians and that has delivered.
I committed to working hard every day for you, the residents of Edmonton Centre, as your MP. I pledged to do more on immigration, to increase infrastructure investment to our city, and to do better for and with Indigenous Peoples in Canada. I took to heart the serious downturn that our economy felt in 2015 – pain felt by my own family. I brought that pain and the reality of Alberta’s hardship to Ottawa. And with Minister Sohi and Kent Hehr, I got to work.
After a setback from the Federal Court in August of 2017, we recommitted to meaningful consultations with Indigenous Peoples. We appointed former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci to lead the renewed dialogue with Indigenous nations. Our consultation teams met with 117 communities to engage in meaningful two-way dialogue. The Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Amarjeet Sohi, also met with over sixty Indigenous communities as part of this process to help ensure that we are accommodating the reasonable needs and concerns of all Indigenous Peoples directly affected by the planned routes of the TMX project.
For ten years, the Harper Conservatives ignored Indigenous, environmental, and legal concerns, and because of that, they failed to get a single inch of pipeline built to new markets. We promised a different process and we have delivered on that promise.
The TMX expansion project will support the hard-working Edmontonians and Albertans of the oil and gas sector and their families while delivering tax revenues that will help fund public services on which all Edmontonians and Albertans rely to improve their quality of life.
We committed to moving forward with the TMX project in the right way. Yesterday we did just that. Our decision was made with the knowledge that we have put in place strong environmental protections in the unlikely case of an accident. We accept the conditions and recommendations outlined by the National Energy Board (NEB), to mitigate any potential negative effects, and we support the robust measures included in our government’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan as well as our national climate plan.
To ensure that we accelerate the green economy, every dollar our government earns in profit from the TMX expansion will be invested in clean energy projects, such as electrification projects, investments in renewable resources, and transitioning Indigenous communities off diesel-power. The additional corporate tax revenue alone could amount to $500 million per year toward clean energy projects once the project is fully up and running.
We will also launch an engagement process to seek input from Indigenous groups on ways that they could directly benefit financially from the expansion – including through equity ownership or revenue sharing.
Meanwhile, the Trans Mountain Company will have to fulfill a number of requirements before construction can begin. This includes seeking municipal, provincial and federal permits, as well as addressing NEB pre-construction condition requirements, which will ensure project construction does not disrupt the daily lives of Canadians. For its part, the NEB will monitor and enforce the implementation of the 156 conditions associated with the project’s approval.
We are supporting Edmonton’s and Alberta’s energy sector workers with an affordable cost of living and good, well-paying, jobs. Our government will continue working with municipal and provincial partners to grow the economy and protect the environment in a way that works for all Edmontonians, as well as all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
By moving forward with TMX, we are creating 15,000 jobs for Albertans and Canadians, diversifying our energy markets, reclaiming billions of dollars for the Canadian economy and bringing more clean energy projects on stream. That is what it means to have the energy, the environment and the economy working together.
We listened. We delivered. Let’s get building.