Trudeau sides with Alberta in pipeline dust-up with BC

British Columbia Premier John Horgan

Premier Rachel Notley says her government is moving ahead with measures against B.C.in response to that province's attempt to impose a ban on crude flowing to the coast.

Notley said the move is unconstitutional and illegal - and argued it's a federal issue. "We are putting in place a consultation and an intentions paper so that the public has an understanding of the potential impact of a catastrophic spill within British Columbia".

Trudeau's town hall in Edmonton last night had only one question about pipelines and that was largely focused on why the prime minister has yet to approve more of them, rather than why he hasn't stopped further expansions.

The Alberta and B.C. chambers of commerce as well as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce issued a joint statement Thursday saying the B.C. government is sending the wrong message to investors and diminishing Canada's competitiveness on the global market. In the meantime, she hopes the federal government will intervene. He said he will establish an independent scientific advisory panel to study the issue.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau maintained his support of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion Friday during a heated town hall in British Columbia, reiterating his stance that the project is in Canada's national interest.




During his radio interview on Thursday, Mr. Trudeau said his government considered a number of factors when it approved the pipeline project in late 2016, including the protection of coasts. Up to $500 million annually for B.C.'s coffers hangs in the balance, Notley said. "This kind of uncertainty is bad for investment and bad for working people".

"One of the things to remember is we have a federal government to look out for the national interest above various disagreements within the provinces".

"That's what we are doing".

According to constitutional law, Trudeau could pull rank and make the project expansion happen through legal sanctions, said Adams, but it's more likely that the dispute will be resolved in the courts. "If Trudeau and the Liberals continue their passive-aggressive approach to Alberta, Saskatchewan and the hundreds of thousands of jobs in the energy sector and allows B.C.to carry on this way, forcing more expensive and time-wasting litigation, then there is no goal to Confederation".

"The premier deserves credit for her stance and for her reaction to try and bring this to some sort of reasonable resolution", he said Friday, adding that Albertans were waiting for a strong message from Trudeau on the issue. "We have already consulted".

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