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Natural resources minister says slumping oil prices won’t deter pipeline plans

The sinking price of oil hasn’t deterred the Liberal government from the ever-elusive goal of figuring out how to get Canadian energy to tidewater, says Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr.

SAINT ANDREWS, N.B. — The sinking price of oil hasn’t deterred the Liberal government from the ever-elusive goal of figuring out how to get Canadian energy to tidewater, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said.

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Battered by the plunging price of crude, the market is now bracing for what experts predict will be a flood of Iranian oil after the United States and the European Union lifted economic sanctions against Iran.

Paired with the steady decline in the value of the Canadian dollar, the drop in commodity values has delivered a financial one-two punch to resource-rich provinces like Alberta.

“We’re looking for a sustainable way of getting our resources to tidewater. That’s been our position all along,” Carr said before a cabinet meeting Monday in the seaside tourist community of St. Andrews, N.B.

“We don’t control the price of oil. It’s an international situation. Commodity prices are at a low. It’s a reality that we’re having to deal with.”

Canadians must be able to have confidence in whatever review process is ultimately approved, said Carr, who acknowledged the effect of the commodity crisis on families, investors and businesses.

It’s one Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the government intends to address in its first budget, expected in March.

“It’s important for us to continue to pay attention to the economy and we’re paying close attention, and with that we’ll be formulating our budget plans with that in mind,” Morneau said.

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