Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Alberta passes law that would punish BC over pipeline fight

Alberta passes law that would punish BC over pipeline fight

VANCOUVER-The British Columbia government has warned Alberta's MLAs that if they pass Bill 12 as expected Wednesday afternoon - authorizing Premier Rachel Notley to shut off the oil flow west - they could face a judge in their own province.

Last month, Kinder Morgan announced the suspension of work for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, running from its Baseline Road terminal to Burnaby, B.C. "It seems to me it's mostly rhetoric and hyperbole instead of substance British Columbians and Canadians can grab on to". The company said it would consult with stakeholders before May 31 in hopes of protecting shareholders and gaining clarity on its ability to construct the pipeline through B.C.

Both news conferences coincided with Kinder Morgan's annual meeting in Calgary, which drew almost 100 pro-pipeline supporters. But the NDP government in B.C. says the project, which would triple the pipeline capacity and increase the number of oil tankers travelling along the coast, poses an unacceptable risk to the environment.

"We see a path to an outcome that will assure that we can get the advantage that we're seeking", Morneau said.

He said investors need certainty in order to back a project the government has repeatedly insisted is in the national interest, but steadfastly refused to say what sort of dollar figures are now on the table.

Meanwhile Eby has written to Kathleen Ganley, Alberta's minister of justice and solicitor general, encouraging her to refer the Preserving Canada's Prosperity Act to the Alberta courts to assess its constitutionality.

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It is about 10 times more powerful than ammonia in household cleaners, and is highly toxic. One pump got too cold because of a power shutdown 17 years ago and is called Frosty.

The government is willing to "provide indemnity" to any investors, be they the project's original architects or otherwise, to ensure the controversial Alberta-B.C. project is able to proceed, Morneau told a news conference recently. "Bill 12 gives us that power".

Morneau said the federal government has a "clear role" to play in the pipeline dispute. "From day one, Horgan has known that he can not block this project and chose to play politics instead of working for the best interests of British Columbians".

Horgan said blaming B.C. for the pipeline impasse is focusing on the wrong target.

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said the public will end up paying for the pipeline because of the "ineptitude" of the B.C. government's actions.

Morneau did not directly answer when he was asked how other investors or companies could conceivably take over a project to expand an existing pipeline that already has an owner.

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