It’s a valid question tonight. Can we build anything in Canada?
Teck Resources has just announced that they are pulling out of their Frontier Mine project citing a lack of clarity on government policy regarding resource development and climate policy. The company’s statement said that, “unfortunately, the growing debate around this issue has placed Frontier and our company squarely at the nexus of much broader issues that need to be resolved.”
Translation, we don’t want to be the football punted by all sides.
Part of a pattern
It can’t be lost on anyone that this decision by Teck comes amidst the nationwide rail shutdown. A small band of protesters have been able to shut down much of Canada’s rail service, and an approved pipeline, without the government doing much of anything.
The Coastal Gaslink Pipeline was not only approved by Canada’s national energy regulator but by all 20 First Nations communities along its route. Despite consultations and regulatory scrutiny going back to the original proposal in 2012, the project is now stalled.
Teck withdrawing also follows the pattern of the Trans Mountain Pipeline in many ways. It had government approval but protesters stopped it. Even after our PM, Captain Climate, bought and paid for it using taxpayers money, the project has yet to substantially proceed.
So Teck is walking away from their Frontier Mine and billions of dollars worth of investment for low carbon oil production because there is uncertainty in the air. Who can blame them?
We have seen the Northern Gateway Pipeline canceled due to Trudeau government decisions to ban tanker traffic in Canadian waters. In the same way we saw Energy East withdrawn because the government made clear there was no appetite to support a pipeline project running through Quebec.
Can we build anything?
It’s not a crazy question to ask if we are still able to build anything in this country? Outside of Quebec that is.
We know that projects like Energie Saguenay are able to get approval from the feds and get built without any problems. It’s the rest of the country, in particular Western Canada, that appears to be the problem.
The problem Trudeau faces
The big problem that Trudeau faces is that there is no easy way out for him. His supporters, heck, even many of his own MPs, want oil and gas development to stop in Canada.
It doesn’t matter to them that Coastal Gaslink, if built, would replace coal plants in Asia with clean Canadian natural gas. It doesn’t matter to them that Teck, if it went ahead, would be not only among the lowest carbon emitters in the oil sands but among the lowest emitter in oil production period.
We aren’t going to drop the need for oil anytime soon. Even if we do move towards a low or zero carbon future that is a long way out. In the meantime, we need oil and gas.
Canada is offering some of the lowest carbon emissions on production of anywhere in the world and we can’t get it built.
Because the government in Ottawa dithers while those intent on stopping all oil and gas in this country, but not elsewhere, move swiftly. They block roads, rails and ports. They file injunctions, they set up blockades, they stop at nothing.
Dialogue won’t work
Justin Trudeau is convinced that if only he can speak to these protesters and have a dialogue then everything will be fine. Here is news for you Justin, they don’t want a dialogue. Their mission is in their hashtag. They want to shut Canada down.
Unfortunately, he is letting them win and now another Canadian company is walking away.