November 30, 2016 7:18 pm
Updated: November 30, 2016 8:24 pm

Line 3 replacement project approval gets mixed reactions in Sask.

WATCH ABOVE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has given Enbridge's Line 3 replacement project the green light. The multibillion dollar project will replace the existing pipeline that currently runs through Saskatchewan. Christa Dao now on the mixed reactions to the project.

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The federal government has given the green light to Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Program (LR3P), which passes through Regina.

The $7.5 billion dollar replacement and expansion project will see up to 760,000 barrels a day from Hardisty, Alta. go through Saskatchewan and Manitoba and down to Superior, Wis.

Map of Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Program pipeline.

Enbridge

Premier Brad Wall called it a significant investment in Saskatchewan’s economy, one that will mean about $1.1 billion dollars in economic impact.

“Line 3 is a fairly straight forward approval but we’re still glad to see it made… [and will bring in] about $180 million in taxes which is always of interest,” he said.

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READ MORE: Justin Trudeau halts Northern Gateway, approves Kinder Morgan expansion, Line 3

LR3P’s new capacity — at 760,000 barrels a day — is almost double its current maximum output.

According to the Steelworkers Union’s Courtland Klein, work had already begun on the pipeline — and steelworkers were depending on an approval.

“We’re halfway through building this pipeline right now and we were very nervous the government could go the other way,” Klein said.

Klein said they represent close to 1,000 unionized workers at Evraz’s Regina mill and employees couldn’t be happier with the decision.

“The guys are very excited knowing they have some job security going into the new year…. we’re very excited.”

But not everyone is thrilled with the decision. The Saskatchewan Environmental Society said they were opposed to the expansion — highlighting environmental concerns.

“We’re really concerned about the upstream and downstream gas emissions that will be associated with the project,” policy coordinator Hayley Carlson said.

READ MORE: TransMountain, Line 3 are moving forward – they could still face major delays

Instead, she said there needs to be more investments in renewable energy.

“Saskatchewan has ample solar and wind potential and even hydro and we should be looking at those for job opportunities and energy production,” she said.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) also chimed in, saying land and water consultation with First Nation must be a top priority.

“As projects like L3RP go forward it is crucial that stringent protections for the environment be put in place to protect our communities and that our First Nations concerns and recommendations are abided,” read a statement from FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron.

Pending U-S approvals, the pipeline is expected to be done in 2019.

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