Mr. Roy MacLaren (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources):
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to respond further to the question raised by the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway (Mr. Waddell) on April 17 concerning the relationship between gas export approval and commitments on construction of the Alaska highway natural gas pipeline.
The Northern Pipeline Act, and specifically condition 12, requires that construction of the Alaska highway pipeline, or any part thereof, including pre-build, not proceed until the whole pipeline has been financed. Financing of the Alaska section and the northern sections of the pipeline in Canada will not be in place for at least a year. Construction of pre-build, on the other hand, could get under way this summer. It therefore follows that if pre-build is to be approved this year,
condition 12 would have to be amended, but this will not happen unless all necessary preconditions have been met.
Condition 12 is one of the many terms and conditions imposed upon the pipeline by the Northern Pipeline Act. The act provides that these terms and conditions can be amended by the NEB, but such amendments do not become effective until approved by the governor in council. Approval in Parliament on a change in condition 12 is not required, although it would be if the act were to be changed. The NEB has amended condition 12. The amendment allows the government to approve pre-build this year, provided it is assured that financing can be obtained for the northern sections of the line.
Subtopic: ENERGY-EXPORT OF NATURAL GAS TO UNITED STATES