Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed that the Trans Mountain pipeline will be built in a press conference following a meeting with the B.C. and Alberta premiers this morning in Ottawa.
Trudeau said the impasse can only be solved by the federal government, and that legislation and talks with Kinder Morgan are underway to push the project through.
“I have instructed the minister of finance to initiate formal financial discussions with Kinder Morgan, the result of which will be to remove the uncertainty overhanging the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project,” said Trudeau.
“I have also informed premiers Notley and Horgan today that we are actively pursuing legislative options that will assert and reinforce the government of Canada’s jurisdiction in this matter which we know we clearly have,” he added.
B.C. Premiere John Horgan said he would continue to push for the “gaps” in the federal government’s oceans’ protections plan, and that he could not find common ground on the environmental impacts of the pipeline.
“Despite all of the commonality between the three of us, we continue to disagree on the question of moving dilute bitumen from Alberta to the port of Vancouver,” Horgan said.
The B.C. premier added he will continue to fight in court over which level of government has jurisdiction over the situation ? and that Trudeau promised there would be no punishment for British Columbians.
Before Trudeau’s press conference Alberta Premiere Rachel Notley first revealed that discussions had begun with Kinder Morgan, and stressed the federal government’s authority over the project.
“I am quite confident, that should these discussions end successfully that the pipeline will be built. And that is good because the project is in the national interest.” Notley said.
Trudeau went on to say in his press conference that the project was originally approved by the previous B.C. government and that extensive consultations have taken place with indigenous groups.
The leader of the B.C. Green Party Andrew Weaver was not available for comment today but released a statement supporting Horgan’s stance on the project.
?I am encouraged to see Premier Horgan continue to stand up for B.C.?s right to protect our economy, our environment and our people,? said Weaver in a release. “It is deeply troubling that the Prime Minister is considering using public funds to absorb investor risk in this project.”
The new leader of the B.C. Liberals Andrew Wilkinson was quick to speak against Horgan’s stance.
“He has intentionally created a constitutional crisis and has nothing to show for it”, said Wilkinson on social media.
“Despite being invited to Ottawa to collaborate and find a solution, Horgan has come home with nothing for B.C..”
The meeting was called amid tensions about the Trans Mountain pipeline, which lead to Kinder Morgan suspending all non-essential spending on the project.
The prime minister was not planning to be in Ottawa this weekend, as he was scheduled to head to Paris from Peru ? he was there for the Summit of the Americas.
With files from the CBC