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May 19, 2020
“It is a core responsibility of the Government of Canada to help get our resources to markets and create good, middle-class jobs. Stability and certainty for major projects can only be achieved when we fulfil our constitutional duty to meaningfully consult with potentially impacted Indigenous communities.
“Canada’s economy has benefited from our oil and gas sector. Our country will continue to rely on the hard work and ingenuity of the people employed in this industry as we build a stronger, more sustainable economy.
“The Canada Energy Regulator delivered its recommendation report on the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. 2021 System Expansion project (NGTL 2021) on February 19, 2020, concluding that the project was in the Canadian public interest and should be approved, subject to 34 conditions.
“As with all major projects, the Government of Canada can only make a decision on NGTL 2021 once we fulfil our constitutional duty to meaningfully consult with Indigenous peoples.
“As Canadians across the country are experiencing, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt day-to-day lives. This is equally true of the consultation process on NGTL 2021.
“Due to health and safety guidelines and concerns related to the pandemic, Phase III consultations have faced delays, and some Indigenous groups have requested additional time so that they may fully participate in Crown consultations on NGTL 2021.
“To ensure there is sufficient time to fulfil this constitutional obligation, while respecting public health and safety precautions, the Governor in Council (GiC) has extended the timeline so that a decision on NGTL 2021 can be made no later than October 19, 2020.
“The Government of Canada’s focus will remain on fulfilling our duty to meaningfully consult in a safe and responsible manner. For example, where possible, we have converted to videoconferencing and teleconferencing.
“The continuity of Canada’s energy sector is critical to the recovery of our economy. This is why, over the past several weeks, the Government of Canada has put in place measures that support the industry and its workers as it faces the twofold crisis of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and global price instabilities.
“We want good projects to move forward. We know from experience that good projects can only move forward with stability and certainty when we get the process right.”
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
Natural Resources Canada