Ottawa may delay decision on Teck mine project
Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says cabinet’s decision on a massive new oil sands mine in Alberta will take into consideration what the province is doing to help Canada meet its climate goals.
Wilkinson stressed that cabinet has not yet decided whether to green light the proposed $20 billion Teck Frontier mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta.
But he told Canadian Press any decision on new projects considers how they fit with Canada’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and provincial efforts to help.
“Cabinet can make a decision to approve, it can make a decision to reject, it can make a decision to delay,” Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told reporters. “I’m not going to opine on what that decision is going to be,” said Wilkinson, who must formally decide whether to approve the project or refer the matter to cabinet.
“It’s important that all provinces are working to help Canada to achieve its targets,” he said Tuesday in Ottawa, noting that includes Alberta.
“Provinces need to have targets, they need to have specific actions that they’re taking,” he told Canadian Press.
Wilkinson notes Alberta is still fighting Ottawa’s federal carbon price in court.
“The most recent actions are fighting federal government on the issue of the pricing of pollution,” he said. “I think what we’re looking for is concrete action on climate change.”
The federal government was clear in 2016 that when it approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, it did so knowing Alberta was imposing a cap on total oil sands emissions and was about to launch a province-wide carbon tax.
When Jason Kenney became Alberta premier last year, he kept the emissions cap but immediately scrapped the carbon tax and sued the federal government when it stepped in to impose the federal version in its place.