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Feb 7, 2018

Feds need to step in and resolve Trans Mountain dispute: Kinder Morgan Canada President

Trudeau needs to step in and resolve Alberta-B.C. dispute: Kinder Morgan Canada president

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Kinder Morgan Canada’s president says the federal government needs to step up and take action in the deepening trade war between Alberta and B.C. surrounding his company’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

“What we are looking for and what I’ve communicated clearly to Ottawa and to [the Prime Minister’s] office is we need them to continue to stand behind the jurisdiction that they have on this project, the national interest determination that they made, however that is necessarily actioned,” Kinder Morgan Canada President Ian Anderson told BNN on Wednesday.

“I think that if there is [an] ongoing dispute between Alberta and British Columbia there is definitely a role for the federal government to step in and help resolve the dispute.”

The two provinces have traded shots over the past week after B.C. announced plans to limit the amount of bitumen that could flow through the province. In the days since, Alberta has suspended electricity purchase talks with B.C. and announced an embargo on the province’s wine.

Anderson says Kinder Morgan never anticipated getting caught in the middle of an inter-provincial battle like this.

“We’ve all been somewhat taken aback by some of the curves and some of the obstacles we’ve been presented with,” Anderson told BNN.

“A trade dispute between two provinces on the back of a dispute around our project is certainly not anything we anticipated or looked forward to.  But it certainly speaks to the severity of the issue to, in particular, Premier Notley and Alberta producers.”

Trudeau said Wednesday that just because he’s not speaking or acting publicly, it doesn’t mean the federal government isn’t working toward a resolution.

"We're continuing to discuss and engage with the B.C. government, with the Alberta government," the prime minister told The Canadian Press. "We're making sure we come to the right place that's in the national interest for Canada.

"We're going to continue to engage with the premiers on a regular basis."

B.C. trying to test Kinder Morgan's resolve on Trans Mountain: Notley

Albert Premier Rachel Notley tells BNN that part of B.C.’s strategy on restricting bitumen shipments through the province might be to get Kinder Morgan to give up on the project entirely.

Anderson echoed comments made by the Alberta premier earlier in the week, calling the dispute one between B.C. and the feds, not the two provinces.

“I think Premier Notley quite rightly points to the fact that this is really a dispute between British Columbia and Canada as much as it is a dispute between B.C. and Alberta. I do think there is definitely a role for the federal government to play in resolving this dispute and dealing directly with British Columbia,” Anderson said.

Speaking with reporters for the first time since Alberta’s proposed wine ban, B.C. Premier John Horgan defended B.C.’s move against the pipeline but said he has no intention to retaliate against Alberta.

“I don’t believe it’s in anyone’s interest to have dueling premiers,” Horgan said. “It’s well known that premier Notley and I have been friends in the past. It’s well-known that we share the same political flag.”

“At the end of the day that’s secondary to my obligation to the people British Columbia and that’s my ultimate focus and my only focus in the days and weeks and months ahead. What Alberta does is entirely up to them.”

However, Anderson said he has communicated to Horgan that the province is over-stepping its bounds.

“What we’re trying to point out to [Horgan] – and I corresponded in a letter with him yesterday directly -  [and] call into question the legality of the jurisdiction that they think they have in order to influence the project outcome in the way that they are proposing at this point and that he should think very seriously about whether or not this tool they are trying to use is one that, in fact, is within their powers to use,” Anderson told BNN.

- With files from The Canadian Press

 

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