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Morneau insists LNG export terminal shows Canada can deliver big projects


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OTTAWA — Finance Minister Bill Morneau says a $40-billion operation to eventually ship liquefied natural gas to Asia from Canada’s west coast shows the country can still get major projects done, despite corporate complaints about regulatory hurdles.

The federal Liberals have been facing criticism from some political foes and business leaders over Canada’s regulations, including those blamed for holding back the construction of oil pipelines out of Alberta.

With the federal election six months away, there’s intense political debate about Canadian regulations as parties, especially the Liberals and Conservatives, fight over which of them one is best suited to deliver on energy projects.

Morneau insists work is already underway on the LNG Canada mega-project in British Columbia because efforts were made to listen to people opposed to the venture as well as those advancing it.

“Canada can get big things done, but we have to do it by working together,” he said in an interview. “The necessity is that we go through this process, that we do it in the right way. And that’s clearly different than has been the approach in the past.”

But shortly after LNG Canada’s approval in October the federal Conservatives, who had been in office until 2015, insisted they deserved credit for getting the project finalized.

At the time, Tory MP Shannon Stubbs said in a statement the Harper government helped LNG Canada through the approvals process. She said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “showed up for the final photo-op” and tried to take credit for it.

The head of LNG Canada says the Trudeau and Harper governments both gave boosts for the project, which will build an export terminal in Kitimat, B.C., and is on track for completion by late-2023.

Andy Calitz said in an interview this week that the project, which went through approvals between 2012 and 2018, received support from governments of different stripes over that period — in both Ottawa and B.C.

The country treated LNG Canada “extremely well” and the permits were delivered by the regulators on time, he said.

“So, in that sense Canada has treated LNG Canada well or alternatively we did our work thoroughly — or both. I’m not sure,” Calitz said when asked about concerns over regulations and other obstacles faced by large projects.

“At the same time, I am today concerned about the interprovincial strife between Alberta and B.C. and the constant regulation challenges to pipelines being built.”

He added it makes foreign investors, who are part of his project’s consortium, vigilant about Canada.

Calitz, the outgoing CEO, met in Ottawa this week with Trudeau and members of his cabinet to introduce them to his successor, Peter Zebedee, and to provide an update about LNG Canada.

He said he told them it had moved from the planning phase to construction. For example, the Kitimat site has been cleared and worker housing is being installed, he said.

Morneau’s comments came a day before the government released a list of the types of projects that will be assessed for their environmental, health, social and economic impacts under Canada’s proposed update of how major new energy projects are evaluated.

He said it’s important for Canada to have a regulatory system that works, and he argued the new environmental assessment law, if adopted, will improve the process.

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

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COMING SOON: A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy 2.0

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Healthy Environment & Healthy Economy
We all want the same thing: a clean and responsible energy future for our children and future generations while continuing to enjoy a high standard of living.
On December 11, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new climate plan which he claimed will help achieve Canada’s economic and environmental goals.
The proposed plan by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) entitled “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy” will have an initial investment of $15 billion of taxpayer’s money. It is built on 5 pillars of action:
1) Making the Places Canadians Live and Gather More Affordable by Cutting Energy Waste
2) Making Clean, Affordable Transportation and Power Available in Every Community
3) Continuing to Ensure Pollution isn’t Free and Households Get More Money Back
4) Building Canada’s Clean Industrial Advantage
5) Embracing the Power of Nature to Support Healthier Families and More Resilient Communities
In my paper, “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy 2.0” I will objectively critique each pillar in the government’s new climate plan and provide alternative solutions to the same issues.
This is an alternative plan that supports workers, protects lower income earners and creates economic growth while respecting the environment and focusing on the dignity of work.
This plan abandons virtue-signaling projects and relies on Canadian ingenuity to build our economy and restore Canada’s role of responsible leadership in the world.
Keep an eye out for the full report next week!
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Group of large oilsands operators commit to become net zero emitters by 2050

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CALGARY — A group of the largest producers in Canada’s oilsands have announced a joint strategy to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The companies include Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Cenovus Energy Inc., Imperial Oil Ltd, MEG Energy Corp., and Suncor Energy Inc.

A large part of the strategy includes building a carbon sequestration facility in Cold Lake, Alta. The group says the facility would be available for other industries to use as well.

The companies also plan to pilot emerging carbon reduction technologies around oilsands operations, such as direct air capture, which uses a mechanical system to extract carbon dioxide out of the air.

The companies say the project will need significant investments and was made possible because of support programs from the federal and Alberta governments.

The group compared their plan to the Longship project in Norway, a multi-billion dollar project that includes a cross-border carbon dioxide storage and transportation facility that will be open to multiple industries and is slated to open by 2024.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CNQ, TSX:CVE, TSX:SU, TSX:IMO, TSX:MEG)

The Canadian Press

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june, 2021

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