OTTAWA, O.N. – Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has a final environmental assessment of the Pacific Northwest LNG project in hand, with the federal Liberal cabinet set to meet Tuesday in the national capital.
A decision from the Liberal government on the proposed $36-billion project in northern British Columbia must be made no later than next Monday.
When it does, it will mark the first true litmus test of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau navigates competing interests between environmentalists and First Nations concerned about climate change and salmon habitat and pro-development advocates, including the B.C. government of Christy Clark.
The liquefied natural gas processing plant on Lelu Island near Prince Rupert would ship 19 million tonnes a year of frozen, liquefied gas to markets in Asia, while pumping more than five million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually into the atmosphere.
The government’s acceptance or rejection of the project will set the table for an autumn of crucial decisions on a national climate change plan and energy sector infrastructure.
McKenna is to sit down with her provincial and territorial counterparts next Monday in Montreal to begin hammering out a pan-Canadian strategy for meeting Canada’s international commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.