Trans Mountain Has Social Licence

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project has clearly achieved what many call "social license"

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project has clearly achieved what many call "social license,” the characteristic whereby a project not only conforms with all relevant laws, but also has the general backing of the community at large. Just look, for example, at the fact that an overwhelming majority of Canadian MPs from coast to coast voted recently in favour of the expansion.

Now, I recognize Greenpeace, Pembina and the like remain opposed; opposition, after all, appears to be their job. But for the rest of the country that pays attention to real employment, real economic prosperity, and real environmental and social protections, the House vote this week matters a great deal.

Here is Tuesday’s motion in Parliament:

Moved by Mr. Strahl (Chilliwack Hope), seconded by Mr Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster): That the house agree that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project:

(a) has social license to proceed;

(b) is critical to the Canadian economy and the creation of thousands of jobs;

(c) is safe and environmentally sound, as recognized and accepted by the National Energy Board;

(d) is under federal jurisdiction with respect to approval and regulation; and

(e) should be constructed with the continued support of the federal government, as demonstrated by the Prime Minister personally announcing the approval of the project.

The motion passed with incredible support 252-52. With such a large majority of elected officials voting in favor of this critical project, it should be very clear that the project, the company and the country have the "social license" – and even the social obligation - to move ahead.

Continued opposition to this project from special interest groups simply proves the point that Canadian energy, no matter how exemplary its sustainability record is, will never be acceptable.

But for the large majority of the rest of the country, we literally can’t afford to be steered by the “say ‘no’ to everything” crowd. We need pipeline construction, and we need it NOW.