Construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline is a matter of national interest – not about punishing British Columbia.
That’s according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who met with Alberta premier Rachel Notley and B.C. premier John Horgan on Sunday, to discuss the latter’s environmental concerns about transporting bitumen to the coast.
Pipeline developments elevated last week after Kinder Morgan announced they would be suspending non-essential activities on the project, citing B.C.’s ongoing opposition.
In a statement to reporters, Trudeau said the construction and development of the expansion, is vital to the livelihood of all Canadians.
“Hundreds of thousands of Canadians who work long hours every day to put the food on the table and build this country, depend on this project getting built. It means people in the oil patch are hurting, have been hurting for years and we stand with them.”
Notley adds she’s quite confident these conversations will help eliminate the uncertainties and ensure the pipeline’s construction.
During a press conference, following the meeting, Notley told reporters she believes there will always be a substantial market for bitumen.
“That is a thing that Albertans and frankly, all Canadians need our country to be able to provide if we are going to continue to be the successful economic nation we’ve been in these past many years.”
Notley added she believes BC’s concerns over the environmental impact of the pipeline, while understandable, has set the nation’s economy back.
“I don’t believe it is in the best interest of the country to engage in esoteric jurisdictional debates for the purposes of harassing a project to death – which I think is what’s been happening up until this point.”
Prime Minister Trudeau says they have informed Kinder Morgan that construction on the pipeline can begin – effective immediately.
The meeting comes in advance of the 12th annual International Pipeline Conference and Exposition – which takes place from September 24-28, in Calgary.