Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Carr Downplays Tanker Traffic Risk, Says Legislation Not Developed Yet

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Carr Downplays Tanker Traffic Risk, Says Legislation Not Developed Yet

Article excerpt

Pipeline legislation still up in air: Carr

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OTTAWA - The federal Liberal government hasn't yet "landed" on its promised legislative option to push the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion forward, says Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr.

Justin Trudeau's government is "actively pursuing" legislation that will reassert Canada's constitutional authority to build and expand pipelines, the prime minister promised Sunday after an emergency meeting with the feuding premiers of B.C. and Alberta.

However, it hasn't yet figured out what it will look like.

"We're looking at legislative options," Carr said Wednesday on his way into the daily question period. "We haven't landed on one yet."

Government officials say it's not even yet clear which department will take the lead on the bill -- Natural Resources, Finance or Justice.

The plan, Carr said, is for legislation that would enhance the federal jurisdiction over pipelines -- something the government says is already crystal clear, which is why it has balked at the idea of launching a time-consuming reference to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Trudeau also dispatched Finance Minister Bill Morneau to strike a deal with pipeline builder Kinder Morgan to assuage investors now skittish about a project laden with possible court delays.

Kinder Morgan declared earlier this month it was halting all non-essential spending on the expansion, giving the government until the end of May to ensure the project would go ahead.

The expansion would build a second pipeline alongside an existing one, doubling its capacity to carry diluted bitumen from Alberta's oilsands to Kinder Morgan's Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, B.C., where it would be loaded onto oil tankers for export.

The hope is most of it would be shipped to Asia, opening up new markets for Canada's oil beyond the United States, Canada's only real oil customer -- a situation Trudeau says forces Canada to take a big hit on the price it gets for the resource.

Fearing the many environmental unknowns that surround diluted bitumen, B. …

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