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

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations councillor says ‘Hereditary chiefs have the ultimate power’

Ahousaht future hereditary chief Jaiden George explains Indigenous governance.

Major renovations underway at Ucluelet Co-op

“People are going to be really pleased with what they see.”

Ucluelet pursues $8M water upgrade

Project aims to expand water capacity while tackling town’s brown water woes.

A.W. Neill removed from Port Alberni elementary school

School District 70 board votes to retain the name Ucluelet Secondary School

Community mourns West Coast’s kind and generous Rita Driver

“She touched a lot of people’s lives and hearts.”

VIDEO: Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP award

Leonard scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

Most Read