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June 4, 2018

Will the NDP vote to defend Alberta jobs and workers or stand with federal Liberal allies?

The NDP government has the opportunity to defend Alberta’s energy industry, the jobs that depend on it, and stand up for Alberta’s constitutional jurisdiction on natural resources by supporting Motion 505 in the Legislative Assembly this afternoon. The motion calls on the Alberta government to demand federal legislation prohibiting the consideration of upstream and downstream emissions in the pipeline approval process.

The motion, put forward by United Conservative leader Jason Kenney, follows the recent cancellation of the Energy East pipeline after the federal Liberal government injected upstream and downstream emissions into the review criteria, effectively killing the much-needed $16 billion, 1.1 million barrel per day project. The motion reads:

Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the Government to immediately demand that the Government of Canada introduce any necessary legislative changes that would prohibit the consideration of upstream and downstream emissions by a federal energy regulator at any stage of the pipeline approval process.

The federal Liberal government is now moving to make the inclusion of upstream and downstream emissions a permanent part of the review process for future pipeline projects seeking review, through their Bill C-69, the Impact Assessment Act, currently before the House of Commons.

The inclusion of upstream and downstream emissions would be a direct affront to Alberta jurisdiction, per Section 92A of the Constitution, which gives provinces exclusive jurisdiction in the management and development of natural resources.

According to the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, Bill C-69 will have a devastating impact on the energy sector: “With built-in climate change tests covering upstream and downstream GHG emissions… If the goal is to curtail oil and gas production and to have no more pipelines built, this legislation has hit the mark.”

“If we as a province are going to be the engine of Canada’s prosperity, then we need to be able to develop these resources without a federal government violating our constitutional jurisdiction to do so,” Kenney said. “Following last week’s news that Kinder Morgan is divesting from their own Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, it’s clear that we need to be creating more certainty for future resource projects – not less.”