Federal government to finance Trans Mountain Pipeline: Canada PM Trudeau
Federal government to finance Trans Mountain Pipeline: Canada PM Trudeau
Trudeau Fails to Ease Provincial Rift Over Kinder Pipeline
16 April, 2018, 13:28
Environmentalists and aboriginal activists frequently demonstrate at Trans Mountain facilities and British Columbia police have arrested about 200 people since mid-March.
OTTAWA-A high-profile meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers of Alberta and B.C. over the future of the contested Trans Mountain pipeline is underway on Parliament Hill. "It will be built".
Yet, the prime minister was also unwavering in his support for the project, saying: "The conversation I will have with the premiers (Sunday) morning will emphasize that we are going to get that pipeline built". If anything, the positions of the two NDP premiers appeared all the more entrenched when the meeting was over.
Horgan said a court challenge testing whether B.C. has the jurisdiction to regulate what can and can't flow through the expansion will proceed before the end of the month.
The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association meanwhile insisted: "Premier Horgan is effectively ripping up a contract which Kinder Morgan negotiated in good faith with the federal and provincial governments of the day", said ICBA president Chris Gardner.
He added that they are in financial discussions with Kinder Morgan to "remove uncertainty" from the project, and are pursuing legislative options as well.
"Alberta has promised to release legislation this week but it's not clear what that's about", she said.
He said the negotiations with Kinder Morgan wouldn't play out in public, and he would not elaborate on exactly what the legislation will say.
"The imminent Mexican elections and the upcoming American midterms means that we have a certain amount of pressure to try and move forward successfully in the coming weeks", the prime minister said.
"We do not intend to issue updates or further disclosures on the status of consultations until we've reached a sufficiently definitive agreement on or before May 31 that satisfies our objectives". Approval came in consultation with the previous B.C. Liberal government, which gave its consent to the project after its own conditions were met.
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Trudeau did not comment directly on Horgan's planned legal action, but was firm in his insistence that the government is "going to get the pipeline built".
"What is unbelievable to me is that there's so much mythology that's part of the discourse - a lot of it coming from Rachel Notley, but some things are being parroted in the mainstream media analysis about what the various governments can or cannot do", said Lee, who is also co-director of the Climate Justice Project, a research partnership with the University of British Columbia's School of Community and Regional Planning. "That is why we are at this point right now".
He also stated that his government will be exploring legislation that would put decisions regarding the pipeline more firmly in the hands of the federal government.
Horgan blamed the lack of specifics on the dispute itself.
Kathryn Harrison, a UBC political scientist and senior associate dean of arts, said no one was really expecting much out of the meeting.
Except Indigenous communities, he added, who as usual were not at the table.
Indeed, knowledge is limited when it comes to how diluted bitumen - known colloquially as dilbit - interacts with water, and how best to contain and clean it up.
"The federal government has a responsibility to bring Canadians together and to do things that are in our national interest".
Horgan's news conference was barely over before Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was at the podium, laying the blame for the impasse squarely at the prime minister's feet. "That's not how we must do business in Canada". He said government investment in the project would do nothing to solve B.C.'s continuing opposition. "It's one thing to withhold health dollars if a province isn't following the health rules ..." He noted Trudeau's father would not have stood for what the Horgan government is doing - despite his reputation as an oilsands opponent.
At the legislature Sunday, Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel said Ottawa already has the jurisdiction it needs.
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