Trans Mountain CEO says shovels could be in ground on pipeline by September

CALGARY — The CEO of the Crown corporation building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion says shovels could be in the ground by September following cabinet approval Tuesday of the long-delayed project.

Oil could be flowing in new segments of the pipeline between Edmonton and the West Coast by mid-2022, Ian Anderson said, about one year later than the timeline envisioned last August when the Federal Court of Appeal quashed its regulatory approval and halted all fieldwork.

“We’re excited, our shippers are excited and the communities we touch are excited along the pipeline corridor,” said the CEO of Trans Mountain Corp. during a conference call Wednesday.

“We’re confident now that our project will meet every standard, every regulation, every test and reflect the values and priorities and principles that we all care for as Canadians.”

The National Energy Board is being asked to reinstate the record from the previous regulatory proceeding in 2016 so that the project can be brought back to the same state of construction readiness as last summer, Anderson said, a process expected to take some weeks.

He said the fact the federal government owns the pipeline won’t change or hurry the process.

Two re-routing requests are still to be decided, he said, including one involving B.C.’s Coldwater reserve, although those processes aren’t expected to affect the timeline.

He said contractors are being mobilized, pipe is being stockpiled in yards in Alberta and B.C. and the Burnaby Terminal on the West Coast is being made ready so that construction work can begin there as soon as permitted.

Anderson said there is no update on the last estimated project cost of $7.4 billion, while conceding that “time is money.”

Earlier Wednesday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau told a Calgary business audience the best way to convince a skeptical oilpatch that the expansion will actually be built is to go ahead and build it.

“What we said yesterday was that we renewed that (pipeline) approval,” Morneau told reporters.

“What’s happening today is we’re back at work. The re-permitting is happening starting today. We are going to get work going this construction season. I want people in Alberta and people across the country to know that intent is real.”

He repeated commitments made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday that profits from the operation and sale of the pipeline will be used to support clean energy initiatives.

In his speech to the Economic Club of Canada, Morneau acknowledged the “huge amount of anxiety” in Calgary over the future of the oil and gas sector despite approval.

He insisted Canada can approve pipelines and still battle climate change, drawing a link between the issue of global warming and Western Canada’s wildfire problem this spring.

But much of the speech was devoted to an election-style listing of his government’s economic accomplishments over the past three years.

A federal election is expected in October.

Last August, the Federal Court of Appeal ripped up the original federal approval of the 590,000-barrel-per-day expansion, citing incomplete Indigenous consultations and a faulty environmental review.

Just Posted

Thousands of Albertans flock to Westerner Days on last day

Central Albertans took advantage of Sunday’s sunshine and flocked to Westerner Days… Continue reading

Former Humboldt Broncos player who survived bus crash hopes for spot on team

RED DEER, Alta. — A former Humboldt Broncos player whose back was… Continue reading

Man and dog dead after early morning house fire in Lethbridge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Officials say a man and a dog are dead… Continue reading

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

OTTAWA — The federal government is fighting a proposed class-action lawsuit against… Continue reading

May says Greens will work with any party that has a serious plan for the climate

OTTAWA — With three months until Canadians vote in the next federal… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Trudeau’s former right-hand adviser playing role in Liberal election campaign

OTTAWA — With three months to go now until the election, the… Continue reading

Hotels face battle over whether to help US house migrants

DETROIT — There’s a new target in the clash over immigration: hotels.… Continue reading

Thousands visit Illinois governor mansion after renovations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Thousands of people have visited the Illinois governor’s mansion… Continue reading

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

VANCOUVER — High school students in Canada may not be getting the… Continue reading

‘Us and them’: influence of Quebec anglos on decline with new Coalition government

MONTREAL — Last March, Quebec Premier Francois Legault made a mocking remark… Continue reading

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

VANCOUVER — Japanese Canadians across the country are meeting to discuss how… Continue reading

Off Canada’s East Coast, a hunt to detect ‘beautiful’ great white sharks

HALIFAX — The great white sharks move torpedo-like through East Coast waters,… Continue reading

ESPN reasserts political talk policy after attack on Trump

NEW YORK — ESPN is reminding employees of the network’s policy to… Continue reading

Most Read