The B.C. construction industry welcomed the news that the federal government has approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project (TMX) again. ICBA called the announcement excellent news for the thousands of construction workers waiting to get to work on it.
“TMX has seen many twists and turns along the way, but we are happy and relieved that construction has been given the green light,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA president. “This much-needed expansion should have started years ago. It is impossible to overestimate how important responsible resource development is to our economy and to Canada’s ability to attract investment and create opportunities for hundreds of thousands of families across our country.”
The construction industry has supported the project moving forward for many years. ICBA has been a vocal leader in the fight, using its #Get2Yes platform to generate thousands of messages from British Columbians supporting the expansion.
The Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) also joined in with other associations in welcoming the federal approval.
“The federal government’s decision is a win-win-win for our industry, B.C. and Canada,” said Fiona Famulak, VRCA president. “We look forward to all levels of government working together and with our industry to get the approved project built in a timely manner so that the economic opportunities and benefits manifest in communities throughout our region, province and country.”
Despite the welcome news, there remain dark clouds on the horizon for Canada’s energy industry and threats to Canada’s ability to compete globally.
“Bill C-48, the Trudeau government’s north coast tanker ban, combined with Bill C-69, which will make it virtually impossible to get another major energy infrastructure project approved in Canada, are a one-two punch that will put Canada’s energy sector on its knees,” said Gardner. “Through regulation and red tape, the Trudeau government’s aggressive attacks on the oil and gas sector are doing significant damage to Canada’s reputation as a place to invest and do business with confidence and certainty.”
The Progressive shared similar concerns, saying Bill C-69 will bog down major projects and drive up costs and uncertainty. Bill C-48 limits Canada’s export capacity by banning oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude oil from stopping at ports along B.C.’s north coast. Both bills are likely to be passed into legislation this week.
“We’ll believe this project is moving forward when the shovels are finally in the ground,” said Paul de Jong, president of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). “While [the] decision is the right one, it’s far from a ringing endorsement when the government is working so hard to kill major resource projects through legislation and regulations designed to make energy development less likely in the future.”