First term MP continues resource advocacy despite Teck Mine withdrawal

Written By Guest User, Posted on February 26, 2020

A couple weeks prior, elected representatives expressed their concern over the future of the Frontier Mine project. A letter from Alberta’s premier sparked then discussions on its resource sector as well as future investment or lack thereof. The letter can be viewed here:

Hoping to combat a budding western alienation, the premier iterated the need for “Canada [to have] a regulatory process that is not subordinated to politics.” Alberta’s Minister to the Environment also fired back with an impassioned speech, retorting that Teck Frontier Mine was not a ‘political gift’ from the federal government. Per Dr. Royer, Alberta is not beholden to Central Canada as a colony, and is also privy to greater economic autonomy.

Donald Lindsay, the president and CEO of Teck, iterated the following requirements for the project: “a partner to help shoulder the $20.6 billion construction price tag, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, and a better price for oil to make its development more viable over the long term.”

However, Teck’s decision not to move forward with the project is largely attributed to Canada’s charged political climate. As highlighted in the letter to the Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Lindsey admits that resource development and climate change have not yet been reconciled in Canada. He writes, “there is no constructive path forward for the project.”

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Lindsey also took the opportunity to highlight Teck’s commitment to combat climate change in the letter, and holding its “unprecedented support from Indigenous communities” with the utmost regard.

Though not mentioning the illegal blockades directly, he acknowledges that a ‘vocal minority’ would oppose developments brought forthwith, and that they were “prepared to face that sort of opposition.” In previous TNT Exclusives with First Nation chiefs, both current and former, they were of the belief that ongoing (radical) environmentalism was a detriment to First Nations’ prosperity. Success stories, like that of Woodland Cree First Nation and Haisla First Nation reflect that sentiment.

MP Jasraj Singh Hallan remains firm on resource sector advocacy.

During Question Period, the Member of Parliament for Calgary – Forest Lawn, Jasraj Singh Hallan, acknowledged the wide breadth of Indigenous support for the project, highlighting that 14 Indigenous communities are on board and approve of this project. In his remarks, he says, “let’s get on with shipping Canadian energy to the world.”

Before the withdrawal of Teck’s regulatory application, Hallan was quick to defend Alberta’s struggling resource sector. And that support remains unwavering, despite employment in natural resources declining in five provinces, most notably Alberta and British Columbia. In 2019, 29,000 such jobs were lost, according to this Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada.

Hallan informed his colleagues across the aisle of the project’s benefits to the province. He states, “Some of our colleagues have been spreading much misinformation about Teck’s Frontier Mine project, so I wanted to take a moment and correct some of it. 

“Teck is indeed planning a 260,000 thousand barrel a day mine in Northern Alberta and will invest [$20.6 billion] to build it. Alberta needs new investment and the 7000 construction jobs [as well as the] 2500 in operations that follow Mr. Speaker.”

He continues, “Here are some facts that have been left out: One of the lowest water use intensities in the oil sands; Lower carbon emissions intensity than about half of oil currently refined in the US; Reclaiming land as mining progresses; and, Leading edge tailings management.”

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At the recent Forest Lawn Annual General Meeting, Hallan noted the federal government is “purposely delaying“ the Frontier Mine project. “[The Conservative Caucus] feels they will delay it even more after February, so they can buy more time.”

Now, the withdrawal exacerbates alienation further, as Albertans question their place within Confederation. “There is turmoil within the Liberal Cabinet on approving [the project], which was expected,” says Hallan.

In January, Alberta lost 18,800 jobs, with profound job losses in the services-producing sector to the tune of 18,500. Remarkably, the resource sector partially recovered, recuperating 4,200 positions.

“We are advocating [and will continue to advocate] on behalf of our resource workers and their families.”

Guest User

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