​Alberta's climate plan part of cabinet decision on new oilsands mine: Wilkinson

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said cabinet has not yet decided whether to green light the proposed $20 billion Teck Frontier mine (illustrated here), north of Fort McMurray. Image: Teck Resources Limited

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says cabinet’s decision on a massive new oilsands mine in Alberta will take into consideration what the province is doing to help Canada meet its climate goals.

Wilkinson stressed that cabinet has not yet decided whether to green light the proposed $20 billion Teck Frontier mine north of Fort McMurray.

But he says any decision on new projects considers how they fit with Canada's goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and provincial efforts to help.

“It’s important that all provinces are working to help Canada to achieve its targets,'' he said Tuesday in Ottawa, noting that includes Alberta.

“Provinces need to have targets, they need to have specific actions that they're taking,” he said.

Wilkinson notes Alberta is still fighting Ottawa's federal carbon price in court.

“The most recent actions are fighting federal government on the issue of the pricing of pollution,'' he said.

“I think what we're looking for is concrete action on climate change.”

The federal government was clear in 2016 that when it approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, it did so knowing Alberta was imposing a cap on total oilsands emissions and was about to launch a province-wide carbon tax.

When Jason Kenney became Alberta premier last year, he kept the emissions cap but immediately scrapped the carbon tax and sued the federal government when it stepped in to impose the federal version in its place.

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