Federal government extends Trans Mountain deadline to June 18 — NewsAlert

Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's minister of natural resources, said the delay would give the federal Liberal government more time to consult with indigenous groups impacted by the pipeline.

In May 2018, the federal government paid $4.5 billion to purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline (TMP) and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) to almost triple its capacity in a desperate attempt to salvage the project.

The NEB report in February made 16 new recommendations for the government, including implementing measures to reduce ferry noise, adding incentives and establishing requirements for quiet vessel design.

Trans Mountain welcomes the certainty provided by Minister Sohis announcement regarding an extension to the date for a decision on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

"The government has consistently said that a decision would only be made on the project once we are satisfied that the duty to consult has been met".

The federal government now has until June 22 to make a decision regarding the controversial project. "This provides the time required to respond to what Indigenous groups are telling us and to conclude the Phase III Crown consultations before the Governor in Council decision".

Kenney promised throughout his election campaign that his government would hold a province-wide referendum in 2021 to remove equalization from the Constitution Act if "substantial progress is not made on construction of a coastal pipeline, and if Trudeau's Bill C-69 is not repealed".

That move came after Canada's Federal Court of Appeal overturned the Liberal government's 2016 approval to expand the pipeline.

RBC Capital Markets energy analyst Michael Tran said the short delay to the Trans Mountain decision would not materially impact the energy sector, and it was more important that the government consult properly to avoid more delays in future.

Speaking during a press conference Thursday morning, Premier-Designate Jason Kenney says he was advised of the delay by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during their conversation on Wednesday, one day following the election. "We will continue to communicate the emergency of this to all Canadians".

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