Teck pulling out of oilsands project ‘another straw on the camel’s back’ for Alberta economy: think tank

The decision by Teck Resources to pull out of a multi-billion-dollar oilsands project in northern Alberta is “not the end of the world,” according to the Canada West Foundation, though it considers it to be “another straw on the camel’s back in terms of Alberta’s economy.”

In a letter addressed to federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson on Sunday, Teck’s CEO and president Don Lindsay said the company was withdrawing from the proposed $20.6-billion Frontier mine because of the broader conversation around climate change in Canada.

Marla Orenstein, director of the natural resources centre at the Canada West Foundation, said she agreed with some of the points Teck made in its letter, especially when it comes to having “a common environmental plan” for major resource and energy projects in the country.

“They were saying that this country really needs to figure out what it wants in terms of an energy policy: how we reconcile energy development, Indigenous rights and climate issues,” Orenstein said.

“Those are our big, thorny, hairy issues that we have problems with and we haven’t figured out how to reconcile them yet. We’re desperately looking for leadership from the federal government on how to move forward so that all these things can progress in tandem, and that hasn’t been resolved, not by a long shot.

“And until that is resolved, future projects are likely to get caught up in the same problem.”

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