B.C. business leaders show pipeline support
Private sector mission takes Trans Mountian project push directly to Premier Notley
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