B.C. trying to test Kinder Morgan's resolve on Trans Mountain: Notley
Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley believes British Columbia may be trying to get Kinder Morgan Canada to throw in the towel on its planned Trans Mountain expansion.
“There’s no question that may be part of the strategy that B.C. is engaging in,” Notley told BNN on Friday, three days after its western neighbor proposed a tightening on pipeline volumes. “I don’t believe that they don’t understand that they are completely at odds with the law.”
“We’ve always supported the right, the obligation and the ability of B.C. to do their job to ensure that they can protect their environment,” Notley added. “However, we do not support their ability to break the law, to take a direct shot at the jobs and the economy of Albertans and that, unfortunately is what Mr. Horgan’s environment minister did last week.”
The governments of Alberta and B.C. have been trading shots over the past few days over the proposed pipeline.
John Horgan’s B.C. government proposed restricted increases to diluted bitumen shipments on Tuesday, a move that Notley described as “grasping at straws.” The Alberta Premier fired back on Thursday by suspending talks with the province on the purchase of electricity, a move that could cost B.C. $500 million annually.
On Thursday, Horgan said he was “surprised” by Notley’s response to the proposals. “I don’t see what the problem is,” he told reporters. “It’s within our jurisdiction to put in place regulations to protect public interest. And that’s what we’re doing.”
Notley told BNN that both Alberta and the federal government remain in Kinder Morgan’s corner.
“I can’t speak for Kinder Morgan on this, but they certainly know that the government of Alberta stands behind them and they’ve certainly heard that message from the federal government as well,” she said.
Justin Trudeau, meanwhile, is fighting his own battles on Trans Mountain. On Thursday, the Prime Minister told an Edmonton radio station that the pipeline “is going to get built.” On Friday, Trudeau faced vocal protesters at a town hall meeting in Nanaimo, B.C., one that saw several disruptions of the Prime Minister’s Q&A period and even the forced removal of those disrupting the proceedings by police.
“It is in the national interests to move forward with the Kinder Morgan pipeline and we will be moving forward with the Kinder Morgan pipeline” Trudeau told the boisterous crowd.
Notley told BNN that this issue is as much the federal government’s problem as it is in her province and urged Trudeau to take B.C. to task over it.
“What I said to the Prime Minister is he needs to see this action for what it is: It is B.C. taking a shot across the federal bow, not Alberta’s,” Notley told BNN. “They need to step in very clearly and very definitively to B.C. and let them know that they don’t get to make up laws on the back of a napkin and pull them out of their back pocket and wave them around just to threaten investors.”
“That is not something we do in Canada and so that’s something that we need the Prime Minister to say definitively and I think that that will help bring this to resolution.”