Is the withdrawn Frontier mine project worthy of its newfound political weight?
'It's always a bit more complicated once you peel back the layers,' says CBC's Aaron Wherry
Teck's now-withdrawn Frontier oilsands mine project was always questionable in viability, but that didn't stop it from becoming a major talking point in Canada's tug-of-war between climate change and the economy, says CBC reporter Aaron Wherry.
"It's hard to say that one project should be a referendum on the future of an entire industry, or that it should be a referendum on the future of Canadian climate policy," Wherry told Day 6 guest host Saroja Coelho.
"But because there's so much uncertainty, and because it was such a major project, it was very easy for all sides to say, 'No, look, this is where you need to draw a line.'"
In a letter explaining the withdrawal, CEO Don Lindsay wrote that his company supports Canada's action on carbon pricing, but that federal and provincial governments need to reach an agreement when it comes to climate policies.
Wherry explained that the project speaks to two major, unsettled political issues: frustration over the future of the oil and gas industry, and questions over Canada's 2030 and 2050 goals to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
The withdrawal also happened to coincide with weeks of protests and blockades in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs who oppose the Coastal GasLink pipeline project in northern British Columbia.
Wherry downplayed suggestions that the heightened political climate may have been the key factor in Teck's withdrawal.
"It's obviously a politically potent idea that the unrest of the last few weeks has contributed to this. ... Of course, though, with most political attacks, it's always a bit more complicated once you peel back the layers."
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