Proposed pipeline regulations shouldn’t start a ‘trade war:’ B.C. premier

Horgan has spoken with both Trudeau and Notley in recent days to reiterate his government’s position

B.C.’s premier says his government is trying to protect the province, not be provocative, over a proposed ban on an increase of diluted bitumen shipped from the west coast.

John Horgan said Friday that his government’s announcement earlier this week is cautionary and designed to make sure B.C. doesn’t suffer in the event of a catastrophic spill.

“I did not set out to be provocative,” he said at a news conference. ”In fact, I would suggest that a press release saying we’re going to have a consultation should not be the foundation of a trade war between good friends.”

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley suspended talks Thursday on buying B.C. electricity, and has described the proposal as an unconstitutional attempt to stop Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

The expansion project would triple capacity along the pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., and increase tanker traffic off the coast seven fold.

READ MORE: Province takes aim at Trans Mountain pipeline with proposed bitumen restrictions

READ MORE: ‘That pipeline is going to get built:’ Trudeau dismisses B.C.’s Trans Mountain move

Ottawa has already approved the expansion and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised again on Friday that Trans Mountain will go ahead, saying it’s an important part of Canada’s energy plans.

Horgan said he’s spoken with both Trudeau and Notley in recent days to reiterate his government’s position that expanding the pipeline would pose a significant threat to B.C.’s economy and environment.

The province is already challenging the project in Federal Court, arguing that B.C. was not adequately consulted.

The government has sought legal advice on the new proposed regulations, but that advice is confidential, Horgan said.

Talking to residents is well within the province’s rights, he added.

“We are not putting in place regulations today, we are not putting in regulations at the end of the month. We are putting in place a consultation and an intentions paper so that the public has an understanding of the potential impact of a catastrophic spill within British Columbia.”

B.C. is not trying to take on the rest of the country with the proposed rules, Horgan said, but does want to be an equal partner in the federation.

He noted that there are many other issues where he agrees with Notley and Trudeau, and hopes they can move forward on those.

“I think there’s great potential for positive working relationships on a number of fronts and I prefer to focus on those,” he said.

With files from Ashley Wadhwani, Black Press

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

MP Cannings’ long-awaited wood-use bill passes in House vote

The private member’s bill is his first to pass the House, a rare feat for rookie MPs in opposition

Flood 2018: What comes next

Most evacuation orders have been rescinded, and residents are starting to return home

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Second commercial acid spill in Kootenay city

Station 374 Trail was called to a Hazmat scene Wednesday night on Highway 3B

Kootenay village pot survey reveals a mixed bag

The majority of Warfield respondents were for cannabis sales, but with dispensary restrictions

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

B.C. launches plan to tackle doctor shortage, emergency room congestion

John Horgan aims to set up regional primary care networks in a ‘team-based’ approach

Most Read