Feds need to ‘ramp up’ efforts to get pipeline built, says Sask Premier

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is calling on the federal government to use “every tool in its toolbox” to see that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project is completed.
And that includes having a plan in place to deal with civil disobedience, should that occur.
At a news conference in Yellowknife on Wednesday, May 23 following the conclusion of the Western Premiers Conference, Moe said discussions on the pipeline are at a critical point.
“We are only nine days away from the deadline set by Kinder Morgan,” said Moe. “The federal government should put the full scope of the jurisdiction they occupy to ensure that the pipeline is constructed.”
Moe said the federal government should “take up residence in Victoria” to pursue discussions with BC Premier John Horgan and others most closely involved “to ensure they understand that oil and other energy products are produced and transported in the safest and most sustainable way possible.
“Oil is safer in a pipeline than on rail,” said Moe. “We all want to ensure the pipeline is as safe as possible. It’s important not just for Alberta, Saskatchewan and BC, but for all of Canada and also for our customers around the world.”
Moe said while it’s impossible to eliminate all risk in the transport of oil, the goal is to reduce the level of risk to a minimum.
Moe said instead of focusing on “financially backstopping” the pipeline project, the federal government should work to find solutions on behalf of Canadians so that we can get on with this project.
“It’s in the national interest of Canada,” he said. “I’m cautiously optimistic that Canada will get to the right spot, but I am concerned because right now I don’t see those steps happening from the federal government.
“I was hoping to kick start some of that conversation here today at the western Premiers Conference, and I hope we have.”
Moe said he believes the Kinder Morgan deadline of May 31 is serious. The company has said it will withdraw from the $7.4 billion pipeline project at the end of this month if an agreement is not reached.
“This is a company that is very serious about this project, and the risks as they perceive them,” said Moe. “We shouldn’t forget, this company has already invested over $1 billion, and met all the environmental assessment and engagement requirements in the process.
“They’ve followed all the rules.”
Moe said he “understands” the frustration of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who declined to attend the western Premiers conference, sending Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman in her place.
“I share her frustration on not starting construction of the pipeline,” said Moe. “But I’m not going to judge anyone on whether they should attend a meeting, or leave a meeting midway through, as I did in the not-too-distant past.
“I do urge the federal government to engage with those involved, including Premiers Horgan and Notley; to ramp up efforts to a much higher level than has been the case so far.”
Moe said the federal government wasn’t shy about restricting Saskatchewan’s application on infrastructure funding due to a disagreement on carbon tax.
“The federal government had no jurisdiction to do that,” said Moe. “But they do have jurisdiction in the case of the pipeline, and they need to make full use of that jurisdiction to get it built now.”
Moe said the western Premiers also discussed several other issues including the importance of updating the North American Free Trade Agreement; the “capacity challenges” experienced by the two major railways; and the progress being made by all industries in reducing carbon emissions.