Lakeland MP and Natural Resources critic Shannon Stubbs is blasting the federal government for leaving more questions than answers on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Justin Trudeau announced a second approval of the project on Tuesday, June 18, and Stubbs believes the federal government wasn’t prepared for the announcement.
“Here is the reality; they answered nothing concretely, and gave no details, no specifics whatsoever, about when construction will actually start, on what the timeline is going to be, and when the Trans Mountain is going to be in service,” said Stubbs.
Stubbs argues that these kind of answers are critical because the original plan said it would be built and operating in six months time. The long-delayed project was bought by the government for $4.5 billion last year and Ottawa says it will go ahead under a Crown corporation.
While work on the project could begin this year, Stubbs says there are many hurdles to cross, including dozens of outstanding permits. She adds that the Parliamentary Budget Officer has confirmed each day the project is delayed decreases the asset value and increases construction costs. With all this in mind, Stubbs believes the Liberal Government is leaving the public on the hook for how much it will cost.
“I think it is incredible that the Liberals want to do a victory lap and get a hero cookie for simply doing what they literally already did two-and-a-half years ago with no details whatsoever. It’s a very important question, I think, about accountability to taxpayers. They owe it to Canadians to give very clear transparency around the costs and around the timeline.”
Stubbs holds that the proper way to build pipelines is through the private sector, and will try to make that happen if the Conservatives are elected. She adds that the Conservatives will still have to contend with the “mess” around pipeline approvals, along with Bill C-69, the environmental assessment overhaul legislation, and C-48, a moratorium on Canadian oil tankers along B.C.’s north coast.