TWO HILLS, AB – Today, Shannon Stubbs, Member of Parliament for Lakeland and Official Opposition Deputy Critic for Natural Resources urged the federal Liberal government to ensure that regulatory decisions are made by experts and based on evidence and facts.

On Monday, August 29, National Energy Board hearings on the proposed Energy East pipeline were scheduled to begin in Montreal as part of their extended 21-month review process. Unfortunately, unruly protests canceled the first two days of hearings, and prompted the vocally opposed Mayor of Montreal to abruptly walk out of Monday’s hearing.

“In the best interest of all Canadians, timely regulatory decisions must be made by experts, and should be evidence and fact-based. Interested and impacted stakeholders must be consulted, but no process is likely to ever satisfy all opponents,” said M.P. Stubbs. “Conclusions must prioritize Canada’s national interest, and balance economic and environmental considerations. The process should not be hijacked by hypocritical politicians and one-issue activists grandstanding for their own partisan purposes or extremist radical agendas.”

The Energy East pipeline would transport approximately 1.1 billion barrels of Alberta and Saskatchewan oil to Eastern Canadian refineries every day, and would open new markets for Canadian energy while providing a Canadian supply of oil to Eastern Canadian refineries. Eastern Canada imports an astounding 86% of oil from foreign jurisdictions, most which do not have environmental standards, violate human rights, and ‎where energy development only benefits corrupt, despotic regimes.

“Opponents of critical projects like Energy East profess to care deeply about environmental standards, but their position favours foreign oil over the world-renowned environmental standards we have right here in Canada.” said M.P. Stubbs. “Due to a lack of infrastructure, Canadians are forced to rely on foreign oil. Given the choice, I think Canadians would rather use our own world-respected and environmentally responsible oil while creating Canadian jobs.”

The NEB will continue with their extended review process and will present a report of their findings to the Liberal government by March 2018. The Cabinet will have six months to make a final decision on the pipeline’s approval, resulting in a 27-month long process.

“Ultimately this Liberal-imposed extended review process has undermined confidence in the regulatory system while delaying a project that is so important for Canada’s economy, competitiveness, long term prosperity, and energy security and self-sufficiency,” said M.P. Stubbs. “The Trudeau government has created uncertainty and destroyed clarity, which deters investment while causing additional costs and delays for proponents. The worst part is that it has perpetuated and inflamed regional divisions and mistrust across the country. I hope the final cabinet decision on Energy East will not be derailed by radical protests, but rather guided by facts, and focused on Canada’s best interests.”