Jim Carr addresses supporters on election night. (Photo: CP)The natural resources minister is also charged with re-tooling the National Energy Board and environmental assessments in an effort to restore broad public confidence in the way major resource projects are approved.
Does free trade deal with China depend on it?With the benchmark price of oil slipping below $30 a barrel, dragging down the Canadian dollar with it, the new national government is staring down the barrel of a budget deficit that threatens to balloon into the tens of billions of dollars. And reports this week suggest Liberal ambitions for a new free trade deal with China may hinge in part on Chinese demands for a new export oil pipeline to tidewater. Events are all conspiring to ratchet up pressure on the Trudeau Liberals for a Nixon-to-China move on a major pipeline approval that eluded the Alberta-based, oil-and-gas-boosting Conservative government of Stephen Harper during almost a decade in office. But the Liberals have also promised a new era of environmental responsibility and broad public consultation, which Carr insists remain integral to the government's plan. "It's important that we move as quickly as we can while being responsible — by ensuring that we've consulted with people who are part of the movement going forward to ensure that Canada is able to move its resources to market sustainably," said the minister.
"Believe me, nobody is lollygagging."All that collaboration and consultation, Carr added, must be "mindful of the importance of Canada's competitiveness position and that moving our resources to market in a sustainable way is also part of our mandate." Reminded of the cautionary saying about living in times of turmoil, Carr agreed there's a lot on the boil. "So you're right, these are interesting times and they're important times," said the former CEO of the of Business Council of Manitoba. "But I also choose to see them as a time of opportunity."
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