The $20B Frontier mine shelved amid escalating rail blockades, CEO says Canada must reconcile climate and oil

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney blamed the decision on ‘federal inaction’ under Trudeau, calling the protesters a ‘militant minority’

Teck Resources has officially withdrawn its application to build the $20-billion Frontier oilsands mine, just days before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was expected to issue a ruling on the contentious project.

In a letter to Trudeau published late Sunday, Teck chief executive Don Lindsay said the company made the decision as protests against a separate pipeline project stretch into their second week, blocking rail lines across the country and occupying public spaces. Lindsay said the Frontier project put his company “squarely at the nexus” of much deeper-lying tensions in Canada between natural resource extraction and First Nation land claims.

“The promise of Canada’s potential will not be realized until governments can reach agreement around how climate policy considerations will be addressed in the context of future responsible energy sector development,” Lindsay said in his letter. “Without clarity on this critical question, the situation that has faced Frontier will be faced by future projects and it will be very difficult to attract future investment, either domestic or foreign.”

He said Canada lacks a “framework in place that reconciles resource development and climate change,” and warned that the absence of such an understanding could bar future projects from reaching completion.

The Frontier mine has gone through nearly a decade of regulatory review, and a decision by the Liberal cabinet, which was expected by end of week, would have marked the final stage in the drawn-out approval process.

Read full article here.

Jesse Snyder – National Post – February 23, 2020.

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