PM says he doesn't want to 'shortcut' NEB on Energy East pipeline

CALGARY -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered a sympathetic ear to major players in Canada's oilpatch Thursday, but didn't provide any assurances on the fate of the pipelines Alberta so desperately wants to move its product to the coasts.

See Full Article

Trudeau, federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley took part in one-hour roundtables with oil and natural gas producers and their suppliers.

The province's oil sector is looking for signals that Trudeau is serious about seeing pipelines built that will move its commodity to where it can be shipped to foreign markets.

The Energy East project is seen as a key plank, but the controversial pipeline has drawn the ire of many along its route through Central Canada to the Atlantic coast.

The prime minister was asked after the meeting if he told the industry that the federal government would approve Energy East if approved by the National Energy Board.

Trudeau repeated his criticism of the previous Conservative government and its politicization of pipelines. He said he would not do the same.

"I'm not going to prejudge or shortcut the NEB process as it goes forward," Trudeau said. "It's important that we have confidence in our regulators. It's important they do their job and we're going to allow them to do their job without political interference."

The president and CEO of Suncor Energy (TSX:SU), Steve Williams, said the meeting with Trudeau was encouraging, but there were no guarantees about pipeline approvals.

"I think assurances is too strong a word. I think what we agreed was that we understood the need for them and we're all going to go away and work towards that end," Williams said.

Mark Salkeld, president of Petroleum Services Association of Canada, also found a reason for optimism after the meeting. He said industry players asked Trudeau to "be our champion" because energy is Canada's economic engine.

"We weren't looking for handouts. We weren't looking for incentives to get us through to the next stage. We're looking for things that will put our employees back to work," said Salkeld.

Action is needed quickly, Salkeld added.

"It's critical. I mean this industry is essentially on its knees right now in Canada. If we don't get things moving relatively quickly there's going to be a generational loss," he said.

Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd said Trudeau was paying close attention.

"We just had a great conversation that talked about the urgency of some of the challenges we're facing," she said. "There was no particular ask (from the participants)."

As he did in Edmonton on Wednesday, the prime minister continued to signal that changes are coming to make employment insurance easier to get for laid-off Albertans.

"We are working very hard, the minister of Employment is looking into it," he said.

"As you know this was a commitment we made through the election campaign to strengthen EI to make it more responsive to people who actually need it ... and now Alberta is facing some real challenges in needing it and we're going to make sure that it's there for them."


Latest Economic News

  • EU approves Bayer takeover of Monsanto after concessions

    Economic CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- The European Union has approved Bayer's buyout of Monsanto in a massive agriculture business deal, but says they will have to shed some $7.4 billion in firms and other remedies to ensure fair competition in the market. Source
  • Trump tariffs set off industry scramble for exemptions

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- When U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross held up a can of Campbell's soup in a CNBC interview to make the case that the Trump administration's steel and aluminum tariffs were "no big deal," the canning industry begged to disagree -- and they were hardly alone. Source
  • Judge: Weinstein company can pay bills, work toward sale

    Economic CTV News
    DOVER, Del. -- A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Tuesday issued initial orders allowing the Weinstein Co. to continue paying its bills and working toward a sale of substantially all of its assets. Judge Mary Walrath's rulings include interim approval for the company to borrow up to $25 million to see it through bankruptcy, but only after she expressed concern about the loan terms in the face of a competing financing proposal. Source
  • World shares waver as investors await Fed decision on rates

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- World shares were mostly lower Wednesday as some markets gave back early gains ahead of the Federal Reserve's first decision on interest rates since the appointment of its new chair, Jerome Powell. Source
  • Canadians to get emergency alerts on their phones soon

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Canada's wireless providers are preparing for a looming update to the National Public Alerting System that will force smartphones to sound an ominous alarm when an emergency alert is triggered. In case of emergencies including Amber Alerts, forest fires, natural disasters, terrorist attacks or severe weather, officials will be able to send a localized alert that will compel compatible phones on an LTE network to emit an alarm -- the same shrill beeping that accompanies TV and radio…
  • 'Too much stuff' — Why the self-storage industry is booming in Canada

    Economic CBC News
    ?You might think self-storage is one of the most boring businesses on the planet — if you've ever bothered to give it a thought. But guess again. A number of Canadian companies are investing big bucks to offer new, creative services that are transforming the industry. Source
  • New titanium industry could grow out of oilsands waste

    Economic CBC News
    After several years and nearly $100 million of research, engineers say they have developed new technology to extract valuable metals from the waste produced by the oilsands in northern Alberta. Canadian Natural Resources and Titanium Corp. Source
  • Liberals tried pilot project with Facebook data whistleblower in 2016: source

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Canadian data scientist who admitted to helping political parties score electoral wins by exploiting the private information of millions of Facebook users also oversaw a short-lived pilot project for the federal Liberals shortly after the 2015 election, The Canadian Press has learned. Source
  • 'Yeah, we can work with that': Auto talks mark potential NAFTA breakthrough

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- A potential breakthough to an impasse over automobiles has created a new sense of optimism in the NAFTA negotiations, with different players Tuesday declaring themselves more hopeful of a deal than they have been in some time. Source
  • Ontario Teachers takes $400M stake in Assassin's Creed producer Ubisoft

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is spending about $400 million to take a 3.4 per cent stake in French video game giant Ubisoft as part of a complex deal that will allow French conglomerate Vivendi to sell all of its Ubisoft shares. Source