Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs accepts the Supreme Court’s dismissal of B.C.’s appeal on the Trans Mountain expansion but says there are still problems facing the pipeline.
The country’s highest court struck down the provinces attempt to regulate the oil flow from the project on January 16. The Supreme Court found the control falls under the federal jurisdiction.
“The Supreme Court decision is welcome because it confirms the federal jurisdictional right over interprovincial pipelines and infrastructure but there is so much more that needs to be done for the Liberals to reverse course and attract investment back into Canada and Alberta.”
Stubbs wants the federal government to release a concrete plan on what will happen next once the pipeline is complete as well as provide an in-service date for the expansion.
Stubbs says the Trans Mountain expansion needs to become operational soon. She believes the lack of capacity will give oil companies second thoughts on investing in Lakeland oil projects as well as other projects in the province.
“If Canada continues to face constraints and if rail and trucking continues to be the only way that oil can be moved then those projects won’t expand and the people in Lakeland will continue to face very precarious job prospects.”
While he says he doesn’t know all the ins and outs of the oil and gas industry, Deputy Mayor Michael Diachuk believes the decision will eventually lead to more oil projects in the area.
“I think it’ll be easier going forward relative to other pipeline developments or movement of oil and gas products to the coastal waters for access to international markets.”
Diachuck says despite rail cars carrying oil through Lloydminster have been keeping the industry afloat but a finished pipeline will bring a boost to the local economy.
“I know that using the pipeline is much safer but access to shipping and getting resources out will provide stimulation for further drilling, service rigs, people out working and that’s an area that’s been hit the worst in our economy.”
The project continues to face challenges as more appeals are still in court. Another Federal Court of Appeals case considers Indigenous issues and is still pending.