MPs debate decision by Teck Resources to abandon proposed oilsands project

MPs in the House of Commons are tonight debating a decision by Teck Resources Ltd. to withdraw its application to build a massive oilsands project in northern Alberta, citing the ongoing debate over climate policy in Canada.

The debate is expected to start once House of Commons adjourns for the day, sometime after 6:15 p.m. is streaming the debate live.

Conservative Shannon Stubbs, MP for the Alberta riding of Lakeland, requested the debate after the company took a $1.13-billion writedown on the Teck Frontier mine project, which would have produced 260,000 barrels of oil a day once fully operational.

“We are disappointed to have arrived at this point,” Teck CEO and president Don Lindsay wrote in a letter addressed to federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and posted to the company’s website Sunday evening.

“Teck put forward a socially and environmentally responsible project that was industry leading and had the potential to create significant economic benefits for Canadians.”

Lindsay wrote that customers want policies that reconcile resource development and climate change — something he said the region has yet to achieve. He did not clarify if the region he was referring to was Alberta or Canada.

“Unfortunately, the growing debate around this issue has placed Frontier and our company squarely at the nexus of much broader issues that need to be resolved. In that context, it is now evident that there is no constructive path forward for the project,” he wrote.

The mine reportedly would have created 7,000 construction jobs, 2,500 operating jobs, and brought in more than $70 billion in government revenue.

Teck’s Frontier oilsands project was planned for northern Alberta. The company pulled its application for the project on Sunday. (CBC News)

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