Statement by the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi Updating the Government’s Plan for a Decision on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project
April 18, 2019 - Ottawa - Natural Resources Canada
The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, today issued the following statement on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) project’s review process and the plan for a decision:
“The Government of Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to do things differently on TMX, moving the process forward in the right way and following the guidance of the Federal Court of Appeal. This means ensuring that consultations are not only meaningful but also open and transparent. It is in this spirit that I want to provide Canadians with an update on the progress made to date.
“The February 2019 National Energy Board (NEB) Reconsideration Report marked an important milestone. Delivered on time, the report concluded that the project is in the Canadian public interest and should be approved, subject to 156 recommended conditions and 16 new, non-binding recommendations to the federal government.
“We also continue to make real progress in the Phase III consultations. Consultation teams continue to meet with potentially impacted Indigenous groups. This process includes engaging in meaningful, two-way dialogue — to discuss and understand priorities of the groups our teams meet and to offer responsive accommodations, where appropriate. I also continue to build relationships with Indigenous groups, and I want to thank them for their time and such thoughtful conversations.
“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. Through this process, Indigenous groups have told us that more time is needed to complete the Phase III consultations.
“To meet this obligation, to respond to what we have heard from Indigenous groups, and with advice from Federal Representative Justice Iacobucci, the Governor in Council (GiC) has extended the timeline so that a decision on TMX can be made by June 18, 2019. Our goal is to make a decision at the end of this period. This provides the time required to respond to what Indigenous groups are telling us and to conclude the Phase III Crown consultations before the GiC decision.
“Our plan provides clarity and certainty — both for the communities engaged in this process and for all Canadians — and this would not be possible without the extensive work completed to date. Moving forward, our focus will remain on fulfilling our duty to meaningfully consult before making a decision on the project. We know how important this process is to Canadians, and we will continue working hard each day to get it right.”
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