Feds criticized for 'running away' from questions on Kinder Morgan pipeline plan
OTTAWA – Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr is being criticized by a Conservative MP for “running away" from reporters following an abrupt media availability on the federal plan to see the Kinder Morgan pipeline built.
Coming out of an emergency federal cabinet meeting, Carr, joined by Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi, spoke for less than two minutes.
"I apologize in advance, I’ve got one minute and I gotta catch a plane," Carr said off the top. "The government is 100 per cent behind this pipeline… we stand behind our decision," he said to a throng of reporters awaiting to hear the outcome of the meeting.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's top tier of MPs convened in Ottawa Tuesday afternoon to discuss the pipeline after the Texas-based company announced Sunday that it was suspending all non-essential spending on the project, with a May 31 deadline for assurance the project can go ahead, citing British Columbia’s opposition.
"Are you going to build it or are you not going to build it? And back it up with options rather than Jim Carr running away from reporters," said Conservative MP from Alberta Michelle Rempel on CTV’s Power Play.
Ahead of the meeting, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said the government is looking at regulatory, legal, and financial options to see the pipeline built.
Throughout the battle between Alberta and B.C. over the pipeline, the federal government has argued that it is in the national interest.
During the brief appearance before reporters, Carr said they are still looking at “many options” of interest to the government. "We'll examine them all thoroughly, got to go, got to catch a plane."
One reporter could be heard remarking "Are you kidding?" as the three ministers left the press conference.
Hours later, Finance Minister Bill Morneau stepped in front of reporters in Toronto to reiterate the federal government’s support for the project.
“We had a good cabinet meeting today, talking about the fundamental importance of the Trans Mountain expansion, why it can have a big impact on growth in our country,” he said. “And of course we’re always focused on jobs, on how we can assure that we have a strong economy so that we create jobs for Canadians.”
Morneau added the government is considering all options -- legal, regulatory and financial -- to ensure that the project is completed, despite B.C.’s ongoing opposition.
“We know it’s in the best long-term interest of our economy,” he said.
Morneau said that he will be meeting with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on Wednesday to discuss the issue and her province’s dispute its western neighbour.
“Obviously, we want to work together to make sure that we get this done,” he said. “But yes, we’re thinking about all the means that we have at our disposal to ensure that the project gets done.”
Cabinet ministers fleeing reporters after Trans Mountain meeting. Most stressed I've seen them look collectively. And some ol' time scrum chases, too. pic.twitter.com/bLBBmiBZVG— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) April 10, 2018