The Teck project is in the national interest, and sorely needed, because it provides jobs, investment and opportunities in a remote, hostile region

A proposed $20.6-billion oilsands mining mega-project by Teck Corp. in northern Alberta is a litmus test as to whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau governs on behalf of Canadians or wants to continue government-by-Greta. Greta Thunberg is a Swedish teenager and poster girl for the global environmental movement.
A decision is expected next month and the usual battle lines have been drawn.
“If this project does not proceed, it would be a clear indication that there is no way forward for this country’s largest natural resource,” warned Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. And that also means Alberta and Saskatchewan will have no way forward either.
If denied the right to continue to responsibly develop their resources, they will have to “immigrate” or leave Canada. There will be little choice.
Trudeau said he has not made his decision yet, but, ominously, he suddenly announced dramatic new emissions targets which point to trouble ahead.
He claims he “won” a mandate from Canadians to undertake climate change remediation, but that’s simply not true. Polling shows that Canadians are completely schizoid about a draconian green agenda. For instance, a December poll showed that 76 per cent believe the country needs to be doing more on the issue of climate change, but that 64 per cent believe Canada should capitalize on the global need for fossil fuels.
That’s not a mandate. These respondents were likely paying lip service to an issue that’s politically correct in broad bush terms, but they also supported the development of fossil fuels in Canada.
The oilsands project must proceed for democratic and legal reasons as well. Parties directly affected have signed off on it. These include the Alberta government, and the First Nations and Metis communities in the region, following years of consultations. In addition, a joint federal-provincial review panel deemed it to be in the national interest because the mine will generate $70 billion in tax and royalty revenue for Alberta and Canada over its 40-year life and create 7,000 construction jobs and 2,500 permanent positions in an area without any other opportunities.
Ron Quintal, the president of Fort McKay Métis Nation, has been directly involved in the proposal and discussions and said there are concerns about the environment, but he believes Teck will responsibly develop the resource.
“I respect everyone’s opinion, but I find in far too many circumstances Indigenous people are used as a lightning rod to polarize the issues like oilsands development,” he told the Edmonton Journal. “I don’t agree with that. Indigenous communities should have the right to have their own voice and to be able to speak. Speaking on behalf of Fort McKay Métis, we don’t want anybody coming in and telling us our business.”
The Liberals’ have a mandate to run the country efficiently and fairly. But here they have failed on both counts. They delay and dither over approving developments like this one in Western Canada, but rubber-stamp multi-billion-dollar fossil fuel projects and exploration licenses in Newfoundland and Labrador. They hesitate and litigate in Western Canada but in 2017 waived environmental safeguards by rubber-stamping a Quebec cement plant with emissions higher than this oilsands project. They impose laws to block oil tankers on the west coast, but not along the east coast or down the St. Lawrence River to refineries in Montreal.
The Teck project is in the national interest, and sorely needed, because it provides jobs, investment and opportunities in a remote, hostile region.
The Thunbergs and Trudeaus of this world should go after the flawed climate change agreement that lets the coal users in China, India and Germany off the hook. Canada has nothing to be ashamed of.
Financial Post