TransCanada’s abandonment of the East Energy Pipeline project is “a business decision,” said Federal Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr, sweeping away Conservative Party criticism that the government Trudeau is to blame for this decision.
At a press conference on Thursday in Ottawa, Minister Carr stated that Canada remains a country open to investments in the energy sector and that the federal government had already approved two pipeline projects last year, the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and the Line 3 pipeline. These two projects alone represent more than $ 11 billion in investments.
“It’s a business decision. We recognize the difficulties in the oil market because of the low commodity prices, but we see signs of growth in this sector. “Our government has approved major pipeline projects that are under construction and a third is expected to be built soon,” said Minister Carr following the announcement of TransCanada’s decision.
Mr. Carr argued that the environmental assessment rules imposed on businesses were not a determining factor in TransCanada’s decision. “We would have used the same rules for this project that were used to approve the Trans Mountain and Line 3 projects. There was nothing that changed in the government approval process. Canada remains a country where we can do business, “he said.
But the Conservative Party offered a different story. “This is a terrible day for Canada, for the men and women who depend on the energy sector for jobs, to put bread on the table for their families,” said the Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party Lisa Raitt.
“Today’s decision is not the result of a sudden decision by TransCanada. Today’s decision is the result of Justin Trudeau’s disastrous policies and his inability to promote Canada’s energy sector, “added Ms. Raitt.
She pointed out that Trudeau’s government is to blame for this decision as it imposes binding measures, including the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the use of oil that would have been transported by the pipeline, that such conditions do not apply to imports of oil from countries such as Venezuela, Saudi Arabia or Algeria.
“The oil companies in these countries are being fostered by the Trudeau government to the detriment of companies like TransCanada that employ middle-class Canadians,” said Raitt, noting that the abandonment of East Energy results in the loss of 15,000 jobs.
Conservative MP Gérard Deltell argued that abandoning this project will hurt Quebec’s economy. “I want to remind you that in Quebec, we have two refineries that buy billions of dollars worth of foreign oil. It is as many billions of Canadian dollars going abroad that we could keep these billions of dollars here in Canada and make our economy prosper. Today’s decision on East Energy is unfortunately the result of Prime Minister Trudeau’s lack of vision. Canadians will remember that, “said Deltell.