EDMONTON, AB (February 22nd) : The United Conservatives responded to an announcement (last week) that the B.C. NDP government will back away from its attempt to block Alberta bitumen from traveling through the province – for now, by first seeking a court reference instead of going forward with proposed regulatory restrictions.
“While some might celebrate the latest news from the B.C. NDP, the Alberta government would be wrong to let up the pressure,” said United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney. “It’s clear that the B.C. NDP has not changed its hostility to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Instead, they are continuing to inject uncertainty into this critically important project.”
Kinder Morgan Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Dang recently stated that the company was going to “spend at a reduced level from a full-throttle push toward completion until we have more clarity, and we’re sure that we can complete what we started.“ (Houston Business Journal, Feb. 21, 2018). The B.C. NDP’s plan to pursue a court reference does not provide “more clarity,” in fact it does the opposite. The last reference by the B.C. government was initiated in 2009. The B.C. Court of Appeal took 762 days to render its decision.
“We have long advocated making clear to the B.C. NDP that there will be serious consequences should they work to delay and obstruct the Trans Mountain pipeline. We were pleased when the Premier finally accepted some of our advice following the B.C. NDP’s hostile moves in late January,” said Kenney. “That said, we should not let up the pressure now. One hopes our government learned a lesson by ignoring this threat for so long. We cannot allow this project to be stalled and delayed to death.”
“Finally, the Government of Canada could quickly settle this matter by invoking the ‘declaratory power’ of our Constitution by using Section 92(10)(c). We will continue to encourage the Trudeau Liberals to demonstrate that they truly believe the Trans Mountain pipeline is in the national interest by using their Constitutional authority,” concluded Kenney.