NOVA North Corridor expansion project gets federal approval
Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O'Regan Jr. has announced that the Government of Canada has approved the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) 2023 North Corridor System Expansion Project with 37 conditions. This decision was based on facts, science, Indigenous knowledge, the public interest, and careful consideration of the concerns of potentially impacted Indigenous communities.
Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is a top priority for the Government of Canada. Over the past eleven months, Natural Resources Canada undertook extensive Crown consultations as part of fulfilling our duty to consult and accommodate and mitigate potential impacts on the rights and interests of Indigenous communities. These consultations followed a thorough review of the project by the Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator (CER).
The proponent must comply with 37 binding conditions related to safety, environmental and wildlife protection, Indigenous engagement, and protection of Indigenous rights and interests. As part of these conditions, NGTL will create 786 hectares of land for caribou habitat - thirty times more habitat than will be impacted by the project. NGTL will be required to establish an Indigenous Working Group for the Red Earth and Chinchaga Caribou Ranges. This will ensure Indigenous involvement in the efforts to create new caribou habitat, given the importance of caribou to their culture, traditional land and resource use, and intergenerational transfer of knowledge.
This $632-million project is of significant importance to workers in Alberta. It will power our economic recovery by creating up to 1,740 jobs and contributing about $425 million to Alberta's GDP. The North Corridor Project provides natural gas producers better access to markets for their products and contributes toward the phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030. Supporting the phase-out of coal-fired electricity is a key part of the government's plan to fight climate change, exceed our Paris climate targets, and move forward on our path to reach net-zero by 2050.
This decision demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to moving forward with good projects that get our resources to diverse markets and create good jobs, while protecting the environment, species at risk and respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
"We want good projects to get done, moving our natural resources to new markets and creating jobs. This means meeting our duty to meaningfully consult with potentially impacted Indigenous communities and addressing risks to the environment and species at risk, particularly. By taking the time to do the hard work, good projects are being built in Canada," O'Regan said.
- This $632 million project is of significant importance in Alberta and for economies across the country.
- The NGTL North Corridor Expansion Project will add 81 kilometres of new pipeline to the existing NOVA Gas Transmission system in three different sections and associated facilities in northwestern Alberta.
- The project will create $307 million in labour income, and the anticipated direct employment will be the equivalent of 1,740 full-time jobs during construction. It will also provide natural gas producers and shippers with greater access to domestic and U.S. markets.
- The Canada Energy Regulator will continue to engage Indigenous groups throughout the project's lifecycle, and is committed to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples by building relationships based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. The CER has established an Indigenous Advisory Committee with members representing First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, to advise the Board of Directors on the involvement of Indigenous Peoples in CER activities.