Four members of Scott Moe’s cabinet are on a committee being established to evaluate pipeline projects in Saskatchewan.
The Pipeline Projects Assessment Committee will “review and assess the viability of pipeline projects in Saskatchewan, and possible government involvement in investing, stimulating, or generally advancing these projects.”
The four ministers who will be on the committee are Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre, Environment Minister Dustin Duncan, Trade Minister Jeremy Harrison and Finance Minister Donna Harpauer.
Harrison explained to reporters on Tuesday afternoon at the legislature that this group will allow the government to engage with proponents of pipeline projects in a systematic and structured way.
One of the things they have heard from proponents is the challenge of securing financing in the open market due to political risks. He hopes the committee will be able to ease that transition moving forward.
“We’re prepared to move from advocacy to looking at other options on how we can advance these pipeline projects going forward, and the reason for that is because of the incredible importance to our economy,” said Harrison.
“The reality is that we have hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil a day on the rail. That oil should be in pipelines.”
Harrison added if the province wants to move forward with development, then the government should be required to have a role beyond advocacy for pipeline projects.
The announcement of the committee had the leader of the NDP rolling his eyes.
Ryan Meili said this is nothing as far as he is concerned.
“Seems like another announcement that doesn’t really amount to anything. I don’t see the great advantage of the people who are already meeting and talking about these meetings in a slightly different way,’ shared Meili.
“Let’s see if there’s any real issues they are bringing forward.”
In a release, Premier Moe said the government recognizes the necessity of further developing pipeline infrastructure to help our energy products reach key global markets.
Encouraging pipeline expansion and development within the province to enable the shipment of Saskatchewan oil through the U.S. and encouraging Indigenous equity participation in Saskatchewan pipeline projects were both goals set in Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan for this decade which was unveiled last November.
[With files from Moises Canales]