The $2.3-billion project is of significant importance to Alberta’s economic restart
Today, Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources announced the Government of Canada has approved the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) 2021 System Expansion Project with 35 conditions. This decision was based on facts, science, Indigenous knowledge, the public interest, and careful consideration of the concerns of potentially impacted Indigenous communities and about wildlife.
In making this decision, the Government of Canada has made amendments to the Canada Energy Regulator’s conditions for approval, related to caribou and Indigenous engagement. In particular, we strengthened five conditions proposed by the regulator and added one new condition in order to better address impacts to section 35 Indigenous rights and help mitigate the disruption of the project’s construction on caribou habitat.
As part of these updated conditions, NGTL will now be required to restore 3,840 hectares of caribou habitat (30 times the size of the habitat impacted by the project) and seek to establish an Indigenous Working Group to assist with the planning for restoration and monitoring for the protection of the Little Smoky Caribou range.
In total, the proponent must comply with 35 binding conditions related to safety, environmental and wildlife protection, Indigenous engagement, and protection or Indigenous rights and interest.
Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples remains a core priority for the Government of Canada. Over the past 17 months, Natural Resources Canada undertook extensive Crown consultations as part of fulfilling the duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate and mitigate potential impacts on the rights and interests of Indigenous communities.
The $2.3-billion project is of significant importance in Alberta and for economies across the country. It will help power the successful restart and recovery of our economy by creating up to 2,920 jobs and contributing about $1.2 billion to Alberta’s GDP. NGTL 2021 will give natural gas producers better access to markets for their products. The Project will also help facilitate the phase-out of coal-fired electricity by 2030.
Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government’s push to moving forward with oil and gas projects that get Canadian resources to new markets and create good jobs while protecting the environment, species at risk, and respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples.