Liberals won't 'rush' plan to review pipeline projects, Jim Carr says
Canada's natural resources minister says regulatory process for pipelines must have public confidence
The Trudeau government would like to see additional pipeline capacity in Canada, but Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says he has no intention to rush any decisions on a plan to assess future projects.
The federal government is working "intensely" to come up with a strategy that will assess pipeline projects, such as the Energy East pipeline, Carr said during the Liberal cabinet's retreat in St. Andrews, N.B.
The federal government is working "collaboratively" on a strategy that will see more pipeline infrastructure built in Canada, but Carr said the policy must balance responsible economic development with environmental sustainability.
"There has to be public confidence in the regulatory process if we are going to sustain the movement of these resources to tidewater," Carr told reporters.
All 30 members of Justin Trudeau's cabinet are attending the day-and-a half retreat in the resort community.
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Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci said in an interview on Saturday that it's imperative more pipelines are built in Canada.
He said a lack of pipeline capacity will leave the Canadian economy stuck in neutral.
The New Brunswick government has been a firm supporter of the Energy East pipeline, which is being proposed by TransCanada Corp., and would bring Alberta crude oil as far as Saint John, where it could be refined and then exported.
Government House leader Dominic LeBlanc, a New Brunswick MP, said after the Liberals formed government that he felt the Energy East project needed a "robust" review.
The falling price of oil has put more pressure on provinces, such as Alberta, that rely on revenue from the oil and gas industry.
That, however, will not prompt the federal government to rush a decision on the review process for pipelines.
"You don't rush your way into decisions that affect not only today, but generationally in Canada in the new world of sustainably moving resources to market," he said.
The natural resources minister added the falling price of oil may have changed how investment decisions are being made, but won't alter the government's path.
"But ultimately there has to be a regulatory process in place that carries the confidence of Canadians," he said.