Ian Anderson, President and CEO of Trans Mountain Corporation, issued the following statement on the now-Crown corporation’s website on Aug. 22 regarding the resumption of construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. Work had just gotten going in August last year when a court ruling from the Federal Court of Appeal put the brakes on it, halting construction and resulting in the layoff of thousands while the project was reviewed, yet again.
Here is Anderson’s statement, verbatim:
This is a pivotal moment for Trans Mountain, proud and gratifying at the same time.
After seven years of consultation, design, study and planning, we have re-started construction on our Expansion Project. There’s no doubt it has been a long road, fraught with ups and downs and a fair share of debate. But it’s also been a time of great progress, compromise, reflection and ingenuity. By almost every measure, our project is stronger, safer and more inclusive than it was when we started.
Many thousands of Canadians have taken the time to study our plans and offer comments and suggestions. We listened to you, we learned from you and we will keep connecting with you now and into the future. Whether we have seen eye-to-eye or not, these conversations have helped us build a better Project and it’s why we are confident that it will meet every standard, every regulation and reflect the values and priorities of Canadians.
As a country, we debated “if” the project should proceed, but now is the time for talking about “how” we’re going to do it. It’s time to get pipe in the ground. It’s time to begin delivering the jobs, economic benefits, and environmental and safety enhancements to communities along the pipeline route. It’s time to get Canadians working and for the thousands of hardworking men and women, dozens of communities and Indigenous groups, and countless small businesses to begin reaping the benefits and sharing in the prosperity.
Over the past many months, our project has continued to evolve, and the extensive Crown-led Indigenous consultations and marine environment review recommendations have made our plans better. We have developed meticulous measures to protect the health of communities and ecosystems, and ensure Indigenous groups are able to harness the economic value in a way that creates a lasting legacy for their people.
But for all the progress we have achieved, we know it's not enough. There is more work to do and we will continue to carry out that work with the same level of dedication, attention and thoughtfulness that has been at the heart of every discussion we’ve had since we first proposed this expansion.
We have begun a new chapter for Trans Mountain. One where we will fulfill commitments such as our Mutual Benefits Agreements and opportunities for Indigenous groups, as well as contributions for communities along the pipeline through Community Benefits Agreements for local projects. We will complete our $150 million investment into Western Canada Marine Response Corporation to implement British Columbia’s largest-ever expansion of spill response personnel and equipment, including eight new response bases, vessels and more than 130 new employees. And, we will implement innovative technology and safety features that will set a new standard in pipeline protection, such as fiber optic sensors to support preventative pipeline leak detection.
And once in service, the project will help deliver direct and lasting benefits to many more Canadians through additional revenues for all levels of government, as well as through annual payments to the Province of BC for the Clean Communities program for local, environmental projects. But in-service is still a few steps away.
Today, we are celebrating the milestone of getting ‘boots on the ground’ in BC and thanking those who have taken part in the process to get us here. That includes our Shippers, who remain committed and have stood beside us through the entire journey.
It’s now time to focus on the incredible engineering feats and scientific achievements our team will carry out over the next couple of years and realize the tangible benefits that will come as a result. We’re eager to move forward and we’re excited to get this project built.