Apr 19, 2018
Ottawa needs to use 'point of leverage' in Trans Mountain dispute: Brad Wall
Brad Wall says the federal government should exercise more leverage to get British Columbia to allow the Trans Mountain pipeline extension to proceed.
In an interview with BNN on Thursday, the former Saskatchewan premier said he wonders why Ottawa would give B.C. $4 billion in infrastructure spending on Apr. 2 when the province was playing hardball with Alberta.
“They signed a 10-year $4 billion infrastructure funding agreement with the province of B.C.,” Wall told BNN. “Why would they do that? Why wouldn’t they use that as a point of leverage with B.C. since [Ottawa has] approved this pipeline?”
“They may want to be a little bit tougher when it comes to federal transfers. If it’s indeed a federal jurisdiction as they’ve asserted – and I think we all believe it is, the approval has happened – then I think we need the Prime Minister to not just have the one meeting and head over to Europe. I think the federal government needs to be here, all hands on deck, and looking at every point of leverage to get this pipeline done.”
Wall also backed his successor, Scott Moe in aligning with Alberta to get a resolution on Trans Mountain.
Moe told BNN on Tuesday that the B.C. government’s decision to obstruct the project’s construction went against the constitution.
“British Columbia is out of step with the constitution with respect to this federally-approved pipeline,” Scott Moe told BNN in an interview late Tuesday. “This pipeline should move forward and the federal government quite honestly should show leadership in utilizing every tool that they have to ensure that this pipeline construction does start and starts immediately.”
His comments came on the same day he tweeted that “If fuel tanks in British Columbia start to run dry because Alberta has turned the taps off, it won’t be Saskatchewan filling them up.”
Wall said turning off the taps to B.C. should be a last resort, but said there’s historical precedent in Canada in the ability to limit the flow of oil out of the West.
“I support the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan in saying this is a last resort, but we’re going to have this enabling legislation,” he said.
Wall said similar tactics helped Alberta get out from under the national energy program in the 1980s.
“I think it helped bring Pierre Trudeau back to the table for the famous meeting that happened in Alberta between him and Peter Lougheed. We actually saw some changes to the national energy program under the [Pierre] Trudeau government,” Wall said.
“What Peter Lougheed did as a last resort in that moment in the life of our country was important, and I think it’s important that British Columbia understand that those two provinces to the east are prepared to do what it takes to defend their industry in the interests of Saskatchewan’s folks and Albertans, as well.”