The federal Conservative Party’s natural resources critic took a shot at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday over his promised legislation to “reassert” Ottawa’s control over the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Shannon Stubbs said he's "run out of time" as lawmakers face down the May 31 deadline set by Texas-based Kinder Morgan for effectively pulling out of the project if agreements are not reached to enable construction through British Columbia and to protect its shareholders.
The House of Commons breaks for a constituency week on Monday and returns May 22, which means that between now and the end of the month, the Commons sits for nine days. Legislation usually takes longer than that to become law.
“The Liberal government has run out of time to pass legislation to remove roadblocks and delays for the approved expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline,” said Stubbs in a press release.
Trudeau promised in April to introduce federal legislation that would “reassert and reinforce” federal jurisdiction to approve pipelines. Since then the Trudeau government's focus appears to have turned to negotiations with Kinder Morgan and Alberta to strike a financing deal using public money.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Thursday that Ottawa was in "very serious and determined discussions" with the province and the energy firm, but added she couldn't provide more details at the time.
“A month ago, the prime minister explicitly promised to introduce legislation to ensure that this important project would be able to proceed," said Stubbs, according to the release. "Now, after failing to take action for a year and a half, he is claiming that the only option may be to force taxpayers to foot the bill.”
During Question Period on May 8, Stubbs asked Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr where the legislation was. Carr responded that the government wants the pipeline to be built "because of the jobs it would create and because of the expansion of our export markets."
"We believe in the combination of unprecedented investments in an oceans protection plan; looking at ways in which the world can benefit from the terrific resources in Alberta and across our country; and the co-development with indigenous peoples along the line," he said.