B.C. busi­ness lead­ers show pipe­line sup­port

Pri­vate sec­tor mission takes Trans Moun­tian project push di­rectly to Premier Not­ley

StarMetro Calgary - - NEWS - STARMETRO

David P. Ball and Ameya Char­na­lia

Nearly 100 Bri­tish Columbia busi­ness lead­ers clinked glasses of B.C. wine and dug into Al­berta steak at a Thurs­day lun­cheon in Ed­mon­ton to show their sup­port for the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line ex­ten­sion project.

Be­hind the con­cil­ia­tory wine and food pair­ing was a de­lib­er­ate po­lit­i­cal mes­sage: We must unite to build the pipe­line.

The del­e­ga­tion was in town a day af­ter Al­berta Premier Rachel Not­ley’s New Demo­cratic Party govern­ment passed a law that could, in the­ory, re­strict the flow of en­ergy prod­ucts from Al­berta to Bri­tish Columbia. Bill 12, the Pre­serv­ing Canada’s Eco­nomic Pros­per­ity Act, au­tho­rizes the govern­ment to is­sue li­cences for any com­pany ex­port­ing en­ergy prod­ucts from Al­berta.

Mem­bers of the del­e­ga­tion — which, in ad­di­tion to busi­ness lead­ers, con­sisted of Indige­nous rep­re­sen­ta­tives, govern­ment of­fi­cials and com­mu­nity lead­ers — ar­rived in Ed­mon­ton on Thurs­day morn­ing to tell Al­berta Premier Rachel Not­ley they sup­port her push to have the pipe­line built.

The lun­cheon’s at­ten­dees made it clear that de­spite the B.C. govern­ment’s op­po­si­tion to Kin­der Mor­gan’s project, many busi­ness lead­ers in the prov­ince sup­port the pipe­line ex­pan­sion and agree with Al­berta’s position that un­der the prin­ci­ples of fed­er­al­ism in the Cana­dian Con­sti­tu­tion, a prov­ince can’t le­gally reg­u­late fed­eral in­fra­struc­ture.

Not­ley has de­scribed Bill 12 as a way to pres­sure B.C., which con­sumes and re­fines a lot of im­ported fu­els, by “turn(ing) off the taps.” That’s be­cause the bill would al­low Al­berta to iden­tify and li­cense — and, po­ten­tially, place re­stric­tions on — Al­berta en­ergy com­pa­nies ex­port­ing nat­u­ral gas, crude oil and re­fined fu­els such as ga­so­line to B.C., in­clud­ing by pipe­line.

Call­ing them­selves the “fed­er­a­tion flight,” the Greater Van­cou­ver Board of Trade-led del­e­ga­tion sought to fill a plane with Bri­tish Columbians who sup­port the pipe­line ex­pan­sion.

Full story at thes­tar.com

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