Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Government investment may not solve Trans Mountain pipeline issues

Notley's solution to Alberta premier says 'something' coming from Ottawa on Trans Mountain impasse
Deanna Wagner | 14 April, 2018, 10:27

She said the federal government should use "every tool in its toolbox" to make sure the project goes through.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has insisted the project, which would triple the capacity of the current pipeline between Alberta and Burnaby, will go ahead.

"Provoked by the B.C. government's continued position, this is a referendum on whether British Columbia is open to investment and whether a legal enterprise can, with any confidence, invest, build and operate a business within the province and the country".

It's unclear when the case could be heard, and Kinder Morgan has set a deadline of May 31 to receive assurances that the pipeline will be able to move forward.

Much has changed in the NAFTA negotiations since Trudeau last met with Pena Nieto in November, and this will also be one of their last formal meetings as Mexico prepares to elect a new president in July.

Trudeau's meetings with Pena Nieto and Pence come as the three are attending the Summit of the Americas, which is held every four years and brings together leaders from across the Western Hemisphere.

The sit-down with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is their first face-to-face since November, and comes at a critical time as Canada, Mexico and the USA look for a NAFTA breakthrough.

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"I think there's a hope we break the deadlock and the prime minister can get beyond the political public posturing", said the official, who was not authorized to speak to the media and requested anonymity.

"The actions of Premier Horgan's government, and the inability of the federal government to resolve this matter, signal to global and local investors that they can have only limited confidence in government decision making processes in our country".

Buying a pipeline with money we don't have isn't going to get Alberta social license from her enemies any more than Notley's carbon tax did.

"I don't feel there is any need for saber-rattling, for provocation or for threats", Horgan told reporters.

Jagmeet Singh, meanwhile, waded into the impasse in Ottawa by proposing that the Trudeau Liberals work with the BC government on a joint reference question to the Supreme Court of Canada, fast-tracking a resolution to what the federal NDP leader calls jurisdictional issues arising from BC's objections to the project. Cabinet ministers have dismissed the idea, saying it was already clear the federal government had jurisdiction over major pipelines.

"All that Mr. Horgan has done right now is seek a judicial ruling ... to try and determine the extent to which British Columbia can enforce its jurisdictional rights and responsibility to try to safeguard its citizens and the coast of B.C".