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Trans Mountain restarting pipeline construction ‘not reason to celebrate’: Jason Kenney

WATCH ABOVE: Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi spoke Sherwood Park, Alta. on Wednesday about Trans Mountain's decision to resume construction on the pipeline expansion project, saying by the end of the year the company expects to have close to 4,200 workers on the job in various communities. The next steps are underway with issued directives that give contractors 30 days to mobilize equipment, hire workers, and develop work plans.

Alberta’s premier says Trans Mountain announcing it will resume construction on its pipeline expansion project is a step forward, but not a reason to celebrate.

On Wednesday morning, Trans Mountain Corp. advised construction contractors to get ready for the restart of its pipeline expansion project to the west coast. The company said its directive gives contractors 30 days to get equipment ready, start hiring workers, secure goods and services and develop detailed plans.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain to resume construction on pipeline expansion

Following the announcement, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney issued a statement to say the news is positive, but “there is still not reason to celebrate.”

“The series of delays and the existing uncertainty around this vital project continue to present serious challenges,” Kenney said.

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“As Trans Mountain begins to prepare for its construction restart, the federal and local authorities must ensure the rule of law is enforced and that construction is not illegally blocked.

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“History has shown us that there are a small minority of individuals who are willing to break the law to prevent responsible resource development in Canada, and they must not be allowed to essentially veto a project that is vitally important – not only to Alberta, but to all of Canada.”

READ MORE: National Energy Board rules Trans Mountain expansion project should be approved

Kenney went on to say that starting construction on the project should never have taken this long. He said the only way to measure success of the project will be once it is completed.

“TMX has been mired in delays and has been through countless months of consultation and a lengthy and rigorous review process. It has been cancelled twice. This cannot be allowed to happen again.”

Watch below: Alberta is extending its curtailment on oil production until the end of 2020. Michael King reports.

Alberta to continue oil production curtailment until 2020 as pipeline delays persist
Alberta to continue oil production curtailment until 2020 as pipeline delays persist

Work is also set to resume at the Trans Mountain terminal in Burnaby, B.C. — the end point for the pipeline which will carry oil from Alberta to the coast for shipment overseas.

Work on the project came to a halt last August when the Federal Court of Appeal ruled the federal government had not properly consulted with Indigenous communities or studied the impact on marine life.

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The federal government gave a second go-ahead to the expansion project in June after the courts overturned the original approval.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets green light to proceed

The Liberal government spent $4.5 billion to buy the pipeline from Kinder Morgan Canada in 2018 in a bid to get the existing pipeline expanded despite significant political opposition in British Columbia.

Trans Mountain said it expects to upwards of 4,200 works on the job in various communities by the end of the year.

With files from The Canadian Press.