Feds keen to see Trans Mountain pipeline built

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says its the safest way to transport oil

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr. (Canadian Press photo)

Canada will continue to produce oil and ship it across the country whether or not new pipelines are built, says the minister of natural resources says.

Building pipelines just means it can be shipped more safely, Jim Carr says in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.

Next week, Carr will play host to a major conference in Winnipeg looking at how Canada can and will adjust to a low-carbon energy world.

However, he says, even as Canada adapts to that new world, oil resources will be extracted and will continue to be shipped.

Getting more oil to the West Coast so it can be loaded on tankers and sold to China will be better for the country and getting it there on pipelines rather than rail cars is better for everyone, he says.

The federal government’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline is under a legal microscope this week as Indigenous and environmental groups and British Columbia cities argue the process was incomplete and failed to take into account the impact the pipeline could have on everything from killer whales to waterways.

The $7.4 billion pipeline project is being built by Trans Mountain, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, to more than double the capacity of an existing line between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C.

The federal Liberals gave the green light to the project last fall, after making changes to the review process that Carr said included more Indigenous engagement.

“We approved it because more than 15,000 jobs will be created,” Carr said. “We approved it because we don’t feel comfortable sending 99 per cent of our oil and gas exports to one country, the United States.”

Whether there was enough Indigenous engagement is one of the key questions that will be answered by a court case underway in B.C. this week.

Carr said the government remains keen to have the line built. He said the judge will decide whether it can proceed, but the government believed the project was in the national interest when it approved it last fall and still thinks so today.

“Nothing has changed that would alter our judgment on why it was approved,” Carr said.

Next week’s Generation Energy conference in Winnipeg is a key moment for Carr in his tenure as natural resources minister, as his mandate letter calls for the creation of a national energy strategy. That includes working on energy security and making it easier to produce and transmit cleaner energy across the country.

Carr said many key policies and solutions in Canada have come from similar conferences. He also said there is no battle between moving to a low-carbon economy and continuing to produce oil in Canada.

“There are examples around the world where the production and distribution of conventional sources go hand in hand with investment in renewable sources of energy and that’s happening more and more now in Canada,” he said.

-follow @mrabson on Twitter.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Repen: FOI data proves Telkwans being ripped off by ICBC

Former Telkwa mayor received a response from ICBC and says the results don’t look good for residents

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read