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NGTL Edson Mainline expansion gets nod from Ottawa

A welder works on an NGTL expansion project in Alberta. TC Energy photo.
A welder works on an NGTL expansion project in Alberta. TC Energy photo.

The Government of Canada has approved the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) Edson Mainline Expansion Project with 25 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 five 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).

"We want good projects to get done, moving our natural resources to new markets and creating good jobs. This means meeting our duty to meaningfully consult with potentially impacted Indigenous communities and addressing risks to the environment. By taking the time to do the hard work, good projects are being built in Canada," said Seamus O'Regan Jr., federal minister of natural resources.

In addition to the 24 conditions recommended by the CER, the Government of Canada has added a new condition in direct response to concerns raised by Indigenous groups. The proponent is required to provide funding to Indigenous groups to support their active participation in the ongoing regulatory process and to report on its engagement with Indigenous groups. In total, the proponent must comply with 25 binding conditions related to safety, environmental and wildlife protection, and protection of Indigenous rights and interests. With the implementation of NGTL's environmental protection procedures, mitigation measures and conditions, the project is unlikely to cause adverse environmental effects.

This $509-million project will create up to 1,470 jobs during construction and contribute approximately $285 million to Alberta's GDP. The Edson Mainline Expansion Project provides natural gas producers diversified access to markets for their products and contributes toward the phase-out of coal-fired electricity in Canada by 2030.

The Government of Canada is moving forward with good projects that get our resources to diverse markets and create good jobs while protecting the environment and respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

This $509-million project is of significant importance in Alberta and for economies across the country. The NGTL Edson Mainline Expansion Project will add 85 kilometres of new pipeline to the existing NOVA Gas Transmission system in two different sections and associated facilities in northwestern Alberta and will be built mostly parallel to existing pipeline. The project will create $175 million in labour income, and the anticipated direct employment will be the equivalent of 1,470 full-time jobs during construction. It will also provide natural gas producers and shippers with diversified access to domestic and U.S. markets.

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) will continue to engage Indigenous groups throughout the project's life cycle 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.