Ottawa [Canada]: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet on Tuesday approved the controversial Trans Mountain expansion project for the second time.
This decision is the next step in laying down a pipeline which would carry nearly a million barrels of oil from Alberta to British Columbia every day, as per the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
The project has the potential to damage the environment and marine life. Indigenous communities, especially those in British Columbia’s lower mainland, are outrightly against the project, even though Trudeau reaffirmed that proceeds from the pipeline would be invested in unspecified clean energy projects.
The cabinet on Tuesday decided that the project is in national interest as it would be creating jobs and bringing in billions of dollars to state coffers.
“We need to create wealth today so we can invest in the future. We need resources to invest in Canadians so they can take advantage of the opportunities generated by a rapidly changing economy, here at home and around the world,” CBC quoted Trudeau as saying.
He also added that the pipeline would ensure that Canada stops depending on the United States as the sole buyer of its oil.
“As we’ve seen over the past few years, anything can happen with our neighbours to the south. Right now, we’re prisoners to the American market,” he added.
Work on the pipeline could start this year, according to an official.
The Trudeau-led cabinet’s decision has garnered mixed reactions from the leadership in both Alberta and British Columbia.
“We are disappointed that the federal government has reapproved a project that poses great risks to our coast, our environment and our economy,” British Columbia’s Premier John Horgan tweeted on Tuesday.
“Our government has a responsibility to protect the interests of British Columbians and that’s what we’ve been doing. We will continue to defend our environment, our coast, and the tens of thousands of jobs that rely on them,” he added.
Meanwhile, Alberta’s Premier, Jason Kenney, expressed his pleasure at the project being approved for a second time.
“We’re pleased to hear that #TMX has been approved – a second time – by the federal government. Now let’s get it built,” he tweeted.