Trans Mountain pipeline won’t cause tension with Notley at meeting: Horgan

Notley said Thursday that Alberta is confident it has the authority to control the export of its oil

The premiers of British Columbia and Alberta will join their counterparts from Western Canada and the North at meetings next week in Yellowknife, but John Horgan doesn’t expect any drama over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Horgan acknowledges he and Alberta’s Rachel Notley have differences on the pipeline, but he said Friday they are in agreement on a number of other matters and have been friends for 20 years.

The ongoing tensions over the Trans Mountain project should not spill over into the expected major focus of the gathering, which is the development of a national pharmacare program, Horgan said. The provinces have always led the way on cost savings for prescription drugs and B.C. wants to be at the forefront of the issue, he added.

“The federal government now wants to talk about a national program,” Horgan said. “We’re excited about that, but we don’t want to be pushed aside after all the work we’ve done here in B.C. at the provincial level and to have the federal government come in and tell us where and how and what we should be doing.”

He said B.C. wants to ensure the provinces continue to play a leading role in the development of pharmacare.

Horgan said he and Notley only disagree on the Trans Mountain project, otherwise their views “are lockstep.”

On Thursday, B.C. announced plans to launch a lawsuit over new Alberta legislation that could restrict fuel exports to the West Coast.

READ MORE: Horgan says B.C. defending its interests in Trans Mountain pipeline

B.C. Attorney General David Eby said his province will ask the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta to declare the legislation unconstitutional on the grounds that one province cannot punish another.

Notley said Thursday that Alberta is confident it has the authority to control the export of its own resources and she believes the new law will withstand a legal challenge, adding her province must safeguard its interests.

Plans to triple capacity along Kinder Morgan’s existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby have pitted Alberta and the federal government against B.C.’s government, which says it fears the impact a spill would have on the province’s environment and economy.

“I believe, largely, the issue is around transporting diluted bitumen, whether it is by rail or by pipeline,” said Horgan. “I believe the risk of a diluted bitumen spill to our environment, to our economy, is too great. I’ve made that abundantly clear. I don’t think there’ll be any surprises next week.”

B.C. filed a reference case in the province’s Court of Appeal last month to determine if it has jurisdiction to regulate heavy oil shipments. It also joined two other lawsuits launched by Indigenous groups opposed to the $7.4-billion project.

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the project until it receives assurances it can proceed without delays, setting a May 31 deadline on getting those guarantees.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday the federal government is prepared to offer an “indemnity” to help ease the political risks for any investors to ensure the pipeline expansion can proceed.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Chilliwack man killed in Honduras plane crash

Family member confirmed Patrick Forseth was killed Sunday morning

Semi truck crashes into highway barrier cable near Chilliwack

Witnesses warning other drivers to watch for debris in other lanes

Multi-vehicle collision on highway in Chilliwack

Accident involves several vehicles, in the westbound lanes says Drive BC

Agassiz bus driver’s seatbelt petition heads to Ottawa

Gary Lillico is hoping his one-month petition will make a mark on the House of Commons

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read