Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to start talks with Kinder Morgan Inc to backstop the Trans Mountain pipeline after failing to end a spat between Canadian provinces that put the vital project at risk. But when the NDP took power a year ago in B.C., Horgan's government announced a series of measures aimed at halting the project, saying the risk to B.C.'s coast from increased movement of diluted bitumen were too great. Alberta, after all, has introduced legislation empowering the NDP to restrict the flow of oil to B.C., which would cause gas prices to spike on the Lower Mainland.
David Eby says it's unconstitutional for one province to use energy policy to punish another province, and B.C.is prepared to take legal action against Alberta.
"I don't think we all fully know what happened in that discussion, but I'm encouraged". "If there's anything in this legislation that even suggests a possibility of discrimination against British Columbians, we will take every step necessary to protect the interests of British Columbians because it would be completely illegal".
In making decisions, the minister is to consider "whether adequate pipeline capacity exists to maximize the return on crude oil and diluted bitumen produced in Alberta", whether the province has enough reserves for its own needs, and "any other matters considered relevant by the Minister".
However, the pipeline has become politically as toxic as the heavy crude it is created to carry from land-locked Alberta to the British Columbian coast.
The situation escalated last week after the company behind the project, Texas-based company Kinder Morgan, announced it was suspending all "non-essential spending" on the $7.4 billion project.
BC Premier Horgan, described the meeting as being "very frank" but said he welcomed increasing support from the Government of Quebec over BC's anti-pipeline position.
After meeting Trudeau on Sunday, John Horgan, the premier of British Columbia, showed no sign that his government would drop its opposition to the project.
The company has given Prime Minister Justin Trudeau until May 31 to give a clear signal the project will proceed.
"I felt no threats or intimidation", Horgan said.
The pipeline was approved in 2016 with the support of the former B.C. Liberal government of Christy Clark.
The B.C. PM said after the meeting that he hadn't changed his stance on Trans Mountain, centering on a fear from oil spills.
However, he said he will back down if the court rules against his government, the Globe and Mail reported.
"That was rejected by the government", Horgan said.
While opponents are still planning to keep up the pressure, local business groups are in favour of the project moving ahead. But Canadians didn't ask to pay for or backstop this project.
Recent weeks have seen indigenous-led protests against the project heat up, sending thousands into the streets. They defied an injunction that requires protesters to stay 50 metres from Kinder Morgan's facilities.
It appointed special prosecutors Michael Klein and Greg DelBigio to handle the cases of Stewart and May, respectively.
Phillip repeated the Union of BC Indian Chiefs' opposition in a statement Monday.
The uncertainty looming over trade relations between Canada and the U.S. as well as waning investor confidence in Canada's ability to complete big projects reinforce why this expansion needs to go forward, he added.