Designate Moe backs Notley in BC pipeline dispute

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
THE CANADIAN PRESS  Justin Tang

"If we don't move forward in getting our resources to markets overseas in safe and secure ways, the rest of the plan no longer holds", he said during the radio interview.

On Wednesday, Notley threatened legal and economic action against the British Columbia government, which this week proposed new restrictions on shipments of oil through the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast.

"The people of B.C. need to know that there is effective spill management across the province and, in particular, for our most environmentally sensitive areas, including coastlines", George Heyman, minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said.

His government's new proposal calls for the province to establish an independent scientific advisory panel to make recommendations whether heavy oils can be safely transported and cleaned up.

On the Island political panellist Martyn Brown, who was chief of staff to former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell, called the prime minister's handling of the B.C. pipeline decision "duplicitous and disingenuous from the outset".

British Columbia's latest proposal is "flagrantly violating" the rules that govern Canada, he said.

In 2016, Notley said her government wouldn't increase the amount of electricity it buys from B.C. until the pipeline was a go.

The measures, which include placing limits on "dilbit" transports until further studies are done, could potentially hinder Kinder Morgan's $7.4-billion Trans Mountain expansion project.

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"We're just going to reiterate that the decision we made was in the national interest and we're going to move forward with that decision, which means we're going to get the Trans Mountain pipeline built", he told the news agency. He said the federal government did the research and has spent billions on spill response.

Up to $500 million annually for BC's coffers hangs in the balance, Notley said.

The mayor added the environmental regulations should have been put in place a long time ago, by the B.C. Liberals. That's not what we're doing.

He downplayed any possibility of court action or sanctions by Alberta.

Nenshi also said that gas prices in B.C. would also take a hit. Notley added the discussions are not related to the Site C hydroelectric project in northern B.C., putting down speculation that the dispute could endanger talks on that issue.

"That's what they have announced - an intention to consult".

BC's proposal creates more uncertainty for Kinder Morgan's already-delayed Trans Mountain expansion project that would almost triple the capacity of its pipeline system to 890,000 barrels a day.

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