Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project’s Westeridge loading dock is seen in Burnaby, B.C., on November 25, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press.)

B.C. business groups urge Horgan to back down on Kinder Morgan

Letter says dispute is hurting B.C. workers

  • Feb. 14, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Five B.C. business groups have waded into the battle over the Kinder Morgan pipeline with an open letter to Premier John Horgan.

The letter, distributed by the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association on Wednesday, criticized Horgan for letting his personal view affect a federally green-lit project.

READ: B.C. has ‘days’ to figure out Kinder Morgan pipeline dispute: Notley

“Failing to respect the rule of law and the largely federal jurisdiction over this project is not only deeply unfair to the stakeholders who respected the process, but also represents a fundamental departure from what it means for B.C. to be part of Canada,” the letter stated.

The other signatories are leaders from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the B.C. Business Council, and the BC Chamber of Commerce.

The $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has sparked a trade war between B.C. and Alberta.

It began when B.C. proposed new restrictions on transporting diluted bitumen, which could hold up the project. As a result, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley halted talks on buying B.C. electricity and banned B.C. wine imports.

READ: Notley launches more ways to fight B.C.’s pipeline stance

The letter cites the “four years of consultation and rigorous regulatory review” the pipeline has already undergone, and the 157 federal and 37 provincial conditions the project must already meet.

“Many of these requirements were crafted to ensure the highest possible level of environmental protection,” the letter said, noting those are separate from an additional $500 million commitment to protect B.C.’s coast.

“Not finding a resolution quickly creates further risks including expensive lawsuits, and large companies going elsewhere to invest their dollars, create jobs and attract talent.”

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