Local officials take the latest announcement from the National Energy Board on the Trans Mountain Pipeline project with a grain or two salt.
On Friday, NEB stated that the project is in Canada's best interest, but that if the federal government wants to approve it, they should consider 16 new recommendations. The board had already made 156 others.
Some of the new recommendations were about reducing traffic noise and ensuring the safety of the southern residents with puppies in the Salish Sea. It appears from the report that an increase in tank traffic could damage not only whales, but also native culture, while creating more greenhouse gas emissions.
Mayor Tara Veer Red Council says NEB's statement is a positive step in the right direction.
"It is a priority for the Red Deerians, Albertans and Canadians to get energy to the market and to ensure the most secure transportation of our natural resources," she says.
"It is crucial that the federal government meet further consultations with indigenous people needed to see the project work."
Veer also touched on the announcement this week from Albert's opposition leader Jason Kenney, that he would pay tribute to Rachel Notley's plan to use railway wagons while waiting for a pipeline.
"I think it is imperative to note that our ultimate goal is pipeline construction, and at least rail cars highlight the economic desperation of our province," says Veer. At best, this is a temporary solution because the safest and most efficient transport of energy product is by pipeline. "
Rick More, CEO of Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce, says he feels much more secure today that Trans Mountain will be built than before the latest report.
" That's good news, But that was good news last time, so I wouldn't be too excited. It is preliminary good news, let's just say it, "says More.
" Timing wise for the NDP, they would probably be happy to see this happen, but I don't know where we are with the railcar if this goes on . "
If Justin Trudeau's cabinet approves the project, it will triple the capacity of the existing line between Edmonton and Burnaby to about 890,000 barrels of oil a day.
A number of original groups have already said that they will continue to fight in the hope of preventing the expansion project from seeing the light of day.
rdnewsNOW has also reached out to Red Deer ̵
(with files from the Canadian press)