March 4th, 2020 ~ Vol. 90 No. 9
MP John Barlow speaks on Teck Decision, Blockades across Canada
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
MP John Barlow
David Selles
Pass Herald Reporter
Recently, Teck Resources pulled out of their Frontier oilsands mine and with it came questions about how this may affect future projects.

MP for Foothills, John Barlow, says this is a decision that will only hurt future projects.

“This is a devastating decision, not only for this project but for future projects. Obviously, this is the loss of 10,000 jobs, a $20 billion investment and tens of billions of dollars in government revenue. Long-term this is painful for not only Alberta, but for Canada because this sends a clear message to investors Canada is not a place to do business. It is not a country where large projects can get done.”

Barlow also mentions that while he doesn’t think this sends the message that resource extraction is dead in this area, it does send warning flags to interested parties.

“I do not want to say dead, but difficult to say the least. Teck, a homegrown company, did everything right. They received approval from the Joint Advisory Panel, which stated the project was in the national interest, they consulted and reached agreements with all First Nations impacted, and it committed to be zero net emissions by 2050 - right in line with the Liberal government’s plan. Teck did everything asked of them and yet still could not see a path forward because of “political instability.” This is a comment usually reserved for countries like Mozambique or Venezuela, not a developed Western democracy like Canada. Other companies are asking themselves what more could anyone do to get a project approved in Canada? Right now, it is not worth it for them to do business in Canada.”
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Bringing it truly local, Barlow says that while Teck has pulled the plug on this project, other projects from mine companies in the Crowsnest Pass theoretically shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

“Teck has a strong reputation and presence in Crowsnest Pass and the proposed coal mining expansions in the area are vital and would be game-changers for the region. Each application must be reviewed on its own merits and, typically, if they meet the environmental assessment criteria there should not be any concern. However, under the current Liberal regime, which is basing decisions on ideology not science and data, it seems nothing is predictable.”

Barlow was also asked about the protestors affecting rail lines across the country.

“The illegal blockades are crippling Canada’s economy, as billions of dollars in commodities are not moving. For example, the blockades are costing Canadian grain farmers $63 million a day, as there is a backlog of 20,000 grain cars. I have spoken to numerous business owners from millers to beekeepers who are furious because they cannot get their products to market, they are not earning revenue and their international customers will go elsewhere. This has long-term consequences as global customers do not see Canada as a reliable supplier and they will look to other markets for the products they need.”

When asked what the Conservatives would do if they were currently Canada’s government regarding both topics, Barlow spoke about Trudeau’s lack of leadership.
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“This is a question of leadership. Prime Minister Trudeau has emboldened these protestors by not acting. First, he did not return home when this crisis began instead he continued his vanity tour of Africa lobbying for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, which, frankly, few Canadians even care about. For the blockades, Conservatives would have enforced the court injunctions, had the Public Safety Minister announce a policy for law enforcement stating critical infrastructure must remain clear and sided with the majority of First Nations who support these types of projects because of the jobs and prosperity they create. For Teck, we would support decisions made by the Joint Advisory Panel as we did with the National Energy Board and we would repeal C-69 and C-48.”

As for what the Conservatives are currently doing, Barlow says raising awareness right now is a focus.

“Our job is to raise awareness and hold the Liberals accountable about these issues. We have done so with an emergency debate in the House of Commons on the blockades and the Teck decision. We have asked numerous questions on these issues in Question Period and put pressure on the Liberals to take action. We will continue to push the Liberals to base decisions on evidence and science and what is best for Canada, not what is best for activist protestors.”
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March 4th, 2020 ~ Vol. 90 No. 9
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