The clock is ticking and B.C. Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Notley are giving each other the long, cold, hard stare to see who is going to blink first in the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion controversy.
Two weeks ago, Premier Rachel Notley’s government introduced Bill 12, the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act. With this legislation, the oil flow to B.C. could be reduced or turned off entirely. Grudgingly, I commend the premier for acting on behalf of Alberta’s interests. It’s not every day that one socialist leader in one province squares off against another socialist leader in another province. But at least she appreciates the need for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.
Of course, Horgan has the environmentalists in his pocket and he is beating his chest in Tarzan-like fashion, remaining inflexible in his position that the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion will not occur in B.C. He has threatened to take the Alberta Government to court to challenge Bill 12 and may even seek financial compensation if Notley uses the Bill to turn off the tap.
The environmentalists may stomp up and down against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, believing they have control of the debate and nation-wide support.
But they should pull in their horns because support for their position is not as overwhelming as they assume. In fact, pro-pipeline groups in Alberta and B.C. made their voices heard recently.
As per an Edmonton Journal article on May 16, James Robson of Canada Action led a group of approximately 100 supporters to the Kinder Morgan annual meeting in Calgary to show their support for the project.
“(Kinder Morgan) need to have our support and more importantly, the federal government needs to know that they need to step in because Canadians want this pipeline, Calgarians want this pipeline,” he said. “People all over Canada want this built.”
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said that his government is committed to the pipeline project, even if Kinder Morgan pulls out.
As per another Edmonton Journal article, on May 17, Val Litwin, president and CEO of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, along with other business and indigenous leaders travelled to Edmonton to meet with the premier and add their backing for the Trans Mountain Pipeline project. See Litwin’s comments in YouTube video under ‘Premier welcomes Vancouver Board of Trade’.
I have said previously, I have no confidence in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act decisively on the pipeline project. I am convinced he is more concerned about alienating his Liberal supporters in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, than in truly acting in Alberta’s and the national interest.
Still, I am glad to see others supporting the pipeline expansion, showing that Horgan and the environmentalists don’t have a monopoly on public opinion or control of the debate regarding the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.