MPs hold emergency debate in the House on Teck Frontier withdrawal
OTTAWA -- MPs took part in an emergency debate in the House of Commons Tuesday night on Teck Resources Ltd.'s announcement that it is withdrawing its application for an oilsands mine in Alberta.
The request for the special sitting to discuss the company's decision came from Alberta Conservative MP and natural resource critic Shannon Stubbs. Liberal MP and House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota granted the request. The debate began around 6:30 p.m. EST and ended around midnight.
Specifically, Stubbs raised concerns about the national economic impact and the effects the withdrawal will have on the natural resource sector.
"Already this week, economists and commentators are wondering and warning whether any major energy projects can be proposed or built in Canada," Stubbs said.
On Sunday evening, in a letter to the federal minister of environment and climate change, Teck CEO and President Don Lindsay said the decision was "difficult" to make.
"Global capital markets are changing rapidly and investors and customers are increasingly looking for jurisdictions to have a framework in place that reconciles resource development and climate change, in order to produce the cleanest possible products," the letter said.
"This does not yet exist here today and, unfortunately, the growing debate around this issue has placed Frontier and our company squarely at the nexus of much broader issues that need to be resolved."
The decision to back away from the massive natural resources project came just days before the federal cabinet was expected to make its own decision as to whether or not to approve the project, a decision that Liberal caucus members were divided on.
The proposed mine in northern Alberta was expected to employ 7,000 people. Slated to go into production in 2026 and produce more than 250,000 barrels of oil each day, the project was estimated at $20 billion and able to produce roughly four million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.