Sask. may re­strict B.C.’s ac­cess to en­ergy

Mean­while, Premier Moe wants Ot­tawa to re­strict B.C.’s in­fras­truc­ture fund­ing

Regina Leader-Post - - FRONT PAGE - D.C. FRASER dfraser@post­media.com twit­ter.com/dcfraser

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe wants to see the fed­eral gov­ern­ment re­strict in­fras­truc­ture fund­ing to Bri­tish Columbia, in the hope it will al­low con­struc­tion on Kinder Mor­gan’s Trans Moun­tain pipe­line to con­tinue.

Those com­ments came Mon­day, shortly af­ter the Al­berta gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced a law that will give its en­ergy min­is­ter power to stop the flow of oil, gaso­line and nat­u­ral gas from go­ing west to B.C. Moe says Saskatchewan will in­tro­duce a sim­i­lar law to en­sure B.C. doesn’t ac­cess mar­kets here for those prod­ucts.

At is­sue is B.C’s con­tin­ued op­po­si­tion to the pipe­line ex­pan­sion, which has been ap­proved by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment but is be­ing chal­lenged in court by the prov­ince. Kinder Mor­gan has stopped all non-es­sen­tial work on the project and given May 31 as a dead­line to elim­i­nate all le­gal in­ter­fer­ences.

The land­locked prov­inces of Al­berta and Saskatchewan con­tend the pipe­line would al­low ac­cess to tide­wa­ter and for­eign mar­kets, re­sult­ing in bil­lions of dol­lars in rev­enues through oil sales to coun­tries other than the United States.

“This is a place where the fed­eral gov­ern­ment clearly has ju­ris­dic­tion, and they clearly have still pro­vided over four bil­lion dol­lars in in­fras­truc­ture to the prov­ince of (Bri­tish Columbia),” said Moe on Mon­day, say­ing Ot­tawa should con­sider “with­hold­ing in­fras­truc­ture fund­ing” to get the pipe­line built.

Leg­is­la­tion “if not mir­ror­ing, be­ing some­thing sim­i­lar” to what was in­tro­duced in Al­berta will be brought for­ward within days, the premier said.

He said he wants to see the law passed “as quickly as pos­si­ble” and that he will be ask­ing the op­po­si­tion NDP to sup­port it.

Moe’s abil­ity to make that hap­pen will be a chal­lenge, based on the com­ments Mon­day from NDP leader Ryan Meili.

“I don’t think at this time it’s ap­pro­pri­ate for us to be tak­ing re­tal­ia­tory mea­sures. This is a fed­eral is­sue and we should be de­mand­ing lead­er­ship from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment,” Meili said.

B.C. En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Ge­orge Hey­man said his prov­ince is pre­pared to de­fend its in­ter­ests “with ev­ery le­gal means avail­able and in the courts” and that court ac­tion would be con­sid­ered if Al­berta’s law, once passed, causes gaso­line prices to go up on the West Coast.

Mil­lions of dol­lars worth of goods are ex­changed be­tween Saskatchewan and B.C. each year. The most re­cent data pro­vided by Saskatchewan was from 2014. It shows Saskatchewan shipped close to $400 mil­lion worth of re­fined petroleum prod­ucts to B.C. The same prod­ucts flow­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion to­talled less than $50 mil­lion in value.

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