OTTAWA, O.N. – The Federal Government has delayed making a decision on the NOVA Gas Transmission 2021 project due to COVID-19.

The project includes approximately 344 kilometres of natural gas pipeline in eight loops and three compressor station unit additions, in the Alberta Peace.

On February 19, 2020, the Canada Energy Regulator recommended the Federal Cabinet approve the project. The Regulator said it found considerable benefits associated with the project, such as creating jobs and increasing market access for Canadian natural gas.

Seamus O’Regan Minister of Natural Resources says the government has extended the timeline to make a decision until October 19, 2020.

“As with all major projects, the Government of Canada can only make a decision on NGTL 2021 once we fulfil our constitutional duty to meaningfully consult with Indigenous peoples.” The Minister went onto say, “Due to health and safety guidelines and concerns related to the pandemic, Phase III consultations have faced delays, and some Indigenous groups have requested additional time so that they may fully participate in Crown consultations on NGTL 2021.”

The Federal Cabinet must make a decision for construction to start. Earlier this year, TC Energy said construction would start in 2021.