Alberta politicians express disappointment over TransCanada decision to cancel Energy East pipeline
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is among western politicians who are “deeply disappointed” at the decision by TransCanada to cancel the Energy East pipeline.
Notley said the decision will affect more than just Alberta.
“We understand that it is driven by a broad range of factors that any responsible business must consider. Nonetheless, this is an unfortunate outcome for Canadians.”
“We believe this nation-building project would have benefited all of Canada through new jobs, investment, energy security and the ability to displace oil being imported into Canada from overseas and the United States.”
Listen below: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has some strong words for Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in response to the cancellation of the Energy East pipeline
Notley reiterated government support from the Alberta NDP for Energy East since the project was proposed and called on the National Energy Board (NEB) to “send a clear message on what the future of project reviews look like in Canada.”
“This decision highlights the importance of diversifying market access and the subsequent national priority that must be placed on the Trans Mountain expansion project.”
WATCH: Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt breaks down the political implications of TransCanada’s announcement.
United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership hopeful and former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean called the cancellation “an attack on Canada and Alberta.”
“Under Prime Minister Trudeau, the Energy East and Northern Gateway pipelines have disappeared,” reads a statement from his campaign.
Jean singled out the mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, accusing politicians in the east of taking “pride and credit” when energy projects that would have benefited the country fall through.
“He’s proud of holding back Canada’s energy prosperity. Other provinces have declared war on Alberta. They are cheering for Canada to fail and threatening national unity.”
Coderre was among elected officials who have argued the environmental risks associated with the project far outweigh the economic benefits.
Jean also pointed to the Alberta NDP’s plan for carbon taxes and caps as contributing factors. He called on Premier Notley to challenge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s NEB reforms.
LISTEN: How will cancellation of the Energy East pipeline impact Canada’s economy?
Watch below: Natural Resource Minister Jim Carr says the TransCanada decision to cancel the Energy East pipeline was not motivated by government policies, but rather changes in the markets and commodity prices.
The United Conservative Party Official Opposition called the decision “devastating news” for everyday Albertans in a statement Thursday.
Like Jean, the party also blamed the NDP’s carbon tax, calling it “a failed social experiment that needs to be cancelled immediately.”
The United Conservatives Interim Party Leader Nathan Cooper questioned the willingness of “Justin Trudeau and the Liberals to loudly champion Energy East and other pipeline projects.”
In the same statement from the UCP, Economic Diversification Critic Prasad Panda said the cancellation should be a wake-up call for the NDP government.
“Albertans can’t afford their carbon tax,” he wrote. “It isn’t getting pipelines built and it’s only hurting our province.”
Cooper said the UCP will continue to push his party’s Buy Alberta Oil campaign.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan was more understanding in his statement on the cancellation of Energy East.
Khan agreed with Alberta party leaders in his disappointment.
“We understand that this was ultimately a business decision by TransCanada based on current economic and political realities,” reads the statement.
“No one benefits when politicians play the blame game. Throwing mud at our political rivals is not a constructive way to handle this situation.”
Khan called on party leaders to have a conversation about developing Canada’s energy industry with the economy and environment in mind.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi also highlighted Montreal when reacting to the cancellation, suggesting it was the only city not in favour of the project.
Nenshi went on to suggest there were two issues when it comes to moving forward.
“Number 1 is actually pretty legit, which is TransCanada now has to go full bore on Keystone XL,” he said. “And it may well be that they looked at their capital plan and they looked at their ability to execute on two major projects simultaneously and shelved one for a while in favour of the one that’s more likely to move forward quickly.
“But the other one…is this change to the NEB. You know, this thing about using the upstream emissions as part of the decision was always illogical, because that’s dealt with by a whole different regulatory body.
“The Trudeau government is going to have to take a real hard look at whether their own heavy-handedness with that policy also led to this decision.”
Listen below: Chris Bloomer, president and CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), reacts to the cancellation of Energy East
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