​Senate passes bill calling for Ottawa to back Trans Mountain

Image: Senate of Canada

The Canadian senate has passed a bill calling on the federal government to put its weight behind the successful completion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.

The bill, introduced by Alberta Senator Doug Black in February, passed third reading on Tuesday.

“Now it’s off to the House of Commons,” said Patrick Cousineau, director of Black’s office, adding it depends on “the will of the House” on how fast it travels through the next phase of legislative process.

“They can certainly go at lightning speed if the government wants to step on the gas,” he said.

Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs, who represents Lakeland in northeast Alberta, will introduce the bill to the House of Commons within the next two days, Cousineau said.

“There are two principal reasons for this bill. The first reason is that it provides a foundation for federal action. Second, it provides certainty that Kinder Morgan is requesting in order to allow them to continue their work in constructing the Trans Mountain Pipeline,” Black said during the senate’s third reading of the bill, calling it “extraordinarily straightforward.”

“The one operative clause is to simply declare the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project and related works to be for the general advantage of Canada.”

Federal government representatives have not indicated whether they will support the bill in the House of Commons, Cousineau said.

Kinder Morgan has given until May 31 to receive certainty on the ability for it to complete the project, for which it has federal approval, in a timely manner.

“We will soon see if there is will or no will,” Cousineau said.

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