The federal government had signalled this was the week cabinet would decide whether to approve, reject or delay the massive $20.6-billion Frontier oilsands mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta., but just days before the decision came down, even those who followed the project still didn't know which way it would go.
Greenpeace's Keith Stewart, for one, had mapped out each scenario. What the senior energy strategist didn't anticipate was what happened Sunday evening when the project's proponent, Teck Resources, announced it had withdrawn its application and shelved the project.
"This was not one on the table," said Stewart of the surprise decision.
There will be significant political, economic and environmental consequences as one of the largest oilsands projects is wiped off the table. The company had estimated Frontier would produce the equivalent of 260,000 barrels a day, generate 7,000 construction jobs, 2,500 operating jobs and bring in more than $70 billion in government revenue.