Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is shown in Calgary, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

VIDEO: Kenney wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Alberta’s premier says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to move swiftly to approve the Teck Frontier oilsands mine north of Fort McMurray.

Jason Kenney says there is no reason to delay the go-ahead for the $20.6-billion project near Wood Buffalo National Park in northeastern Alberta.

A federal-provincial review last summer determined Frontier would be in the public interest, even though it would be likely to harm the environment and the land, resources and culture of Indigenous people.

“Their current deadline is the end of February for a decision … and I’ve been very clear to the prime minister … if they say no to this project, then they are signalling his earlier statement that he wants to phase out the oilsands,” Kenney said Monday.

Trudeau commented at a town hall meeting in January 2017 that his government was attempting to balance economic and environmental concerns.

“We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels, but it’s going to take time, and, in the meantime, we have to manage that transition,” Trudeau said at the time.

The Frontier mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta., would produce 260,000 barrels of oil a day and about four million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, for more than 40 years.

The federal government must make a decision by the end of February under the Environmental Assessment Act.

Kenney said it’s time that the federal Liberals start listening to the majority of First Nations leaders who support projects such as Teck, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and the Coastal GasLink pipeline in northeastern B.C.

“I implore the federal government. If reconciliation means something, surely it means saying ‘yes’ to economic development for First Nations people.”

Kenney was speaking at an announcement of the new board of directors for the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corp. The Crown corporation plans to allocate up to $1 billion in support, such as loan guarantees, to qualified First Nations seeking an equity position in major resource projects.

The communities need to come up with $20 million for investment, but can receive support of up to $250 million.

Kenney said the corporation could provide financial support to a group seeking to buy a stake in the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain project.

“We continue to discuss this with the federal government,” he said. “The prime minister has expressed an interest in selling a stake to First Nations. If that future potential First Nations consortium comes forward to the (Alberta corporation) with an application, I’m sure it will be given serious consideration.”

READ MORE: B.C. and Alberta Indigenous leaders protest major Teck oilsands project

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

oil & gas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gitxsan man resigns from military after RCMP enforces pipeline order

Daryn Forsyth says he could no longer serve a Crown whose actions he disagrees with

Truck, CN train collide at Kitwanga level crossing

Traffic disrupted as a result of accident

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

B.C. widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, federal opposition says

Most recent total was $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they’ll meet with ministers if RCMP get out

Federal minister in charge of Indigenous relations has proposed a meeting to diffuse blockades

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Most Read