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Feds to provide aid package to Alberta as Teck decision looms

Last Updated Feb 7, 2020 at 9:28 am CDT

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe meet at the Wilson Center to discuss US-Canada relations and energy investment. (CREDIT: @ScottMoe, Twitter)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The federal government is poised to give Alberta an aid package at the same time a decision on the Teck Resources mine is expected.

Right now, there are no details as to what the aid package will look like and according to one report, the Liberals are divided on whether to approve the oilsands project.

The $20 billion mine would employ around 7,000 workers at a site between Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan.

RELATED‘It’s an important project’: Federal ministers weigh in on Teck Frontier mine

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney spoke about the Teck project during a meeting with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe saying the province won’t be pleased if the project is rejected.

“The response won’t just be very serious in Alberta but I think it would be very serious in global capital markets because it sends the message that companies can come to Canada and spend hundreds of millions of dollars and years walking through a regulatory process in a country that’s supposed to represent the rule of law and then an arbitrary political decision at the end of the process without any transparency can suddenly scuttle all of that? I think that would be a devastating message to send.”

“Reactions would be swift and direct if the application for what would be one of the most sustainable energy projects in the world would not be approved in a nation like Canada,” added Moe.

Kenney said Teck Resources spent $1 billion clearing every hurdle in the environmental process and engaged all nearby First Nations with benefits agreements.

The Liberals special representative to the Prairies Jim Carr said the project is important but couldn’t say which members of the party were in favour of it.

“We’re spending a lot of time talking to people and listening to people and looking at the very important balance between environmental stewardship and indigenous partnerships and economic growth.”

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan are reportedly leaning towards approving the project.

Earlier this week, O’Regan commented on the project saying the government is still looking into the mine to make sure it aligns with its environmental standards.

“We’re a country built on energy. We’re the fourth-biggest oil and gas producer in the world so for a country like ours to achieve net-zero, we have to work together, we have to work with our partners.”

That net-zero goal, however, presents a major obstacle for the project.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged Canada will achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Teck Frontier mine has set a target to be carbon neutral by the same year.

Kenney is urging the federal government to quickly approve the project despite concerns from Indigenous and environmental groups.

A federal-provincial review found Frontier would be in the public interest but warns it will likely harm the environment and indigenous people.