Montreal, August 30, 2018 – The decision by the Federal Court of Appeal to block the project to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline under the pretext that Ottawa has not consulted the indigenous population adequately shows yet again that the project approval process in Canada is not working and is sending investments fleeing to our competitors.
“In Canada, getting approval for an energy infrastructure project and implementing it amounts to a real feat, even for expansion of an existing pipeline!” says Germain Belzile, Senior Associate Researcher at the MEI. “It’s harder than elsewhere to move forward with major projects, which is why investments are fleeing to the United States and overseas.”
This morning, the Federal Court blamed Ottawa for failing to meet its constitutional obligations toward the First Nations by neglecting to address their concerns in connection with this Kinder Morgan project.
We note that Kinder Morgan, whose shareholders approved this morning the sale of the Trans Mountain project to Ottawa for $4.5 billion, had indeed consulted the First Nations. Many indigenous communities were even in favour of the project, and the company had received all the permits and approvals required for the project.
“The government will now have to guzzle $4.5 billion of taxpayers’ money on a project that can’t even go ahead, Mr. Belzile states. “Once again, investors are receiving the same message: ‘don’t come and do business here.’ Not only is the regulatory process expensive and time-consuming, but companies can’t even rely on it once it’s completed.”
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