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Conservatives Furious With Trudeau Over $20B Teck Mine Project Cancellation

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.A massive $20 billion-Alberta oil sands project has been cancelled, infuriating Canadian conservative politicians, who are blaming Justin Trudeau and Indigenous-led rail blockades. Vancouver-based Teck Resources Limited CEO Don Lindsay said his company is pulling its application for the Frontier oil sands project, a $20.6-billion mine that would have…

Conservatives Furious With Trudeau Over $20B Teck Mine Project Cancellation

This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

A massive $20 billion-Alberta oil sands project has been cancelled, infuriating Canadian conservative politicians, who are blaming Justin Trudeau and Indigenous-led rail blockades.

Vancouver-based Teck Resources Limited CEO Don Lindsay said his company is pulling its application for the Frontier oil sands project, a $20.6-billion mine that would have produced 260,000 barrels of oil per day, in a two-page statement addressed to Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. A parliamentary vote on whether to green-light the project was planned for Tuesday, but has since been canceled.

Lindsay cited incomplete climate change policy as a reason for hitting the breaks.

“Customers are increasingly looking for jurisdictions to have a framework in place that reconciles resource development and climate change,” Lindsay said. “This does not yet exist here today, and, unfortunately, the growing debate around the issue has placed Frontier and our company squarely around much broader issues that need to be resolved.”

An onslaught of responses from politicians, mostly from Alberta but also outgoing Conservative leader and Paw Patrol fan Andrew Scheer, ensued after the letter was published.

Shannon Phillips, an NDP MLA from Lethbridge, said Teck canceled the mine because Premier Jason Kenney dismantled Alberta’s climate leadership. In a long statement, Kenney maintained the mine was economically viable and lamented that its cancellation means 7,000 fewer potential jobs in Alberta. He blamed recent events for catalyzing a lack of trust between Teck and the government.

“Teck’s decision is disappointing, but in light of the events of the last few weeks it is not surprising,” Kenney said. “It is what happens when governments lack the courage to defend the interests of Canadians in the face of a militant minority.”

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Scheer directly linked Teck’s decision to the ongoing Indigenous-led railway blockades taking place across the country in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs—and Prime Minister Trudeau’s inability to stop them.

“Make no mistake, Justin Trudeau killed Teck Frontier,” Scheer told reporters on Monday.

In his statement, Lindsay said he is not “shying away” from political tension.

“The nature of our business dictates that a vocal minority will almost inevitably oppose specific developments,” Lindsay said. “We are prepared to face that opposition.”

Dana Andersen, is a University of Alberta professor of economics, called the company’s letter “vague” and said it was likely purposefully written in a non-partisan tone.

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