Guest post: Ian Anderson, President & CEO of Trans Mountain

2018 was an eventful year for the Trans Mountain team. From the Government of Canada purchasing our company and getting “boots on the ground” in two provinces, to the suspension of construction activities, there have been many changes and challenges to overcome.

Through it all, we remain a company committed to safety and to the relationships we’ve developed over the past many decades. And, each day our team gets down to the business of safely moving products to market. The Trans Mountain pipeline runs full every day, as demand continues to outpace capacity on the system.

Although our Expansion Project attracted a lot of attention this past year, in reality, thousands of individual Albertans and British Columbians have been a part of the regulatory process for more than six years. We are keen to move forward on our multi-year construction program that will see thousands of Canadian workers expanding a pipeline system that has reliably carried western Canadian oil to tidewater for more than 65 years.

Our pipeline system has operated in urban centres, through farmlands, across borders and in some of the country’s most pristine park lands for many decades. And, the tankers leaving our dock have safely transited the Salish Sea without incident since 1956.

We share the values Canadians place on our environment, coastal waters and marine ecosystems. Preparation for the Expansion Project commenced in 2011, including an intensive examination of marine issues, risks and impacts relating to expanded tanker traffic, including potential marine mammal impacts and mitigation.

However, we recognize that regional collaborative initiatives are likely to be the most effective way to instigate real change, because regardless of whether or not our Project proceeds, the impacts of marine shipping to whales in the region are a current and future concern.

We remain committed to building this Project in consideration of communities and the environment, with meaningful consultation with Indigenous Peoples and for the benefit of Canadians. We engaged an unprecedented number of Indigenous communities and stand by our commitment to have direct, one-on-one dialogue with all groups that may be impacted by our Project.  

We have more than 40 agreements with Indigenous Groups impacted by the Project that address the unique interests and needs of each community and that will see benefits from the Project flow to each one. The Federal Court of Appeal decision did not take issue with Trans Mountain’s engagement efforts with Indigenous communities, but did identify areas where the Crown needed to do more. The federal government is currently working to address these areas.

I want to thank those who continue to take an interest in Trans Mountain and our expansion. We understand the Project’s importance to the future of our energy industry and our economy, and we know there are communities, workers, local businesses and Indigenous Groups that are waiting to share in its success. I can assure you we’re continuing to do important work to advance the Project and I am confident we will find a way forward.