Environment minister: Trans Mountain's construction about more than just a pipeline being built
Canada’s environment minister Catherine McKenna says the federal government is looking at “all the tools in our toolbox” to make sure the Trans Mountain pipeline gets built as the prime minister gears up for his meeting with the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia on Sunday.
McKenna told BNN that environmental concerns over the pipeline, which is the main sticking point for the B.C. government, have already been dealt with by the federal government.
“We understand concerns that some folks have raised over whether it fits with the climate plan,” McKenna said on Thursday. ”It fits within our climate plan about oceans. We’ve invested in ocean protection.”
“Let’s be clear, it went through a federal environmental assessment, we approved it and the previous B.C. government approved it.”
While the federal government is hoping that a resolution will be reached between the two provinces soon, McKenna added that they have been clear that the pipeline is under federal jurisdiction and are looking at the many ways they can support the project.
“We’re looking at all the tools in our toolbox to make sure it gets built. But, you do need to get the parties together… we need to figure out a solution,” she said.
When pressed on what tools the government has to make sure that the pipeline gets built, McKenna would not specify, reiterating that the government will not negotiate in public.
“I think that’s the smart approach, the prime minister and finance minister have been very clear about that,” she said.
“The first thing that needs to happen is we ratchet down the rhetoric, get the two premiers in a room, and we figure out the path forward for the pipeline, but there’s other measures.”
The federal government announced on Thursday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would fly back from the Summit of the Americas in Peru on Sunday to meet with B.C. Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley to find a solution to the dispute.
McKenna said some people might find it surprising that the minister of environment and climate change is talking about the pipeline, but along with addressing environmental issues, the government needs to create wealth and jobs.
“There’s a lot of drama around this. I think people have to talk rationally about the economic opportunity and the measures that have been taken at the coast to address climate change,” she said. “I’m all about action on climate change, but we are also in a long term transition and we need to get our resources to market.”