EDMONTON, AB: Wildrose Leader Brian Jean sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging him to keep the National Energy Board (NEB) in Calgary, following the release of the expert panel report on modernizing of the NEB, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
Included in the report are recommendations to replace the Calgary-based NEB with a new, Ottawa-based organization, and to extend the review process for pipelines from the current 15 months to three years. Jean used his letter as an opportunity to remind the Prime Minister that Canada has a world-class regulator that removes politics from the process for energy infrastructure approvals.
“Alberta is rightfully proud of our world class oil and gas sector, and I am troubled by recommendations in this report that seem to suggest that further red tape and delay is necessary within our pipeline review process,” Jean said. “A decision to have the head of Canada’s pipeline review process anywhere but in Alberta would send a strong signal from the Trudeau government that they do not understand the importance of our province as it relates to energy infrastructure.”
The decision to place the newly announced Infrastructure Bank in Toronto by the Trudeau government, coupled with the suggested move of the NEB to Ottawa shows the lack of respect given to the Alberta economy, as well as to Albertans given the tens of billions of net outflow annually from Alberta to other provinces.
“It would be ill-advised for the Trudeau government to turn its back on the economic engine of our confederation,” Jean said. “It’s clear that the NDP government’s attempt at social license with the federal government has been unsuccessful, but I am hopeful the Prime Minister will let common sense prevail and keep the NEB effective and based in Calgary.”