SANDRA M STANWAY
Last Friday Bow River Member of Parliament Martin Shields urged the government to stand up to B.C. in their fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
“The B.C. government is putting Canadian jobs and prosperity at risk and the government needs to show leadership and get the Trans Mountain expansion project built,” Shields told the House of Commons.
At the end of January B.C.’s environment minister George Heyman threw the first swing in a province versus province dispute.
Heyman proposed to limit shipments of bitumen from Alberta.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley threw two of her own punches: first she suspended talks with B.C. about purchasing power, then she added a B.C. boycott on wine.
In a statement last Tuesday, B.C. Premier John Horgan said, “I urge Alberta to step back from this threatening position. We stand with B.C. wine producers and will respond to the unfair trade actions.”
“Neighbour against neighbour makes no sense and it is ridiculous to be in this situation in Canada,” Shields told The House.
“Oil is being sold at up to a 50 per cent discount to the United States because we don’t have anywhere else to sell it. The U.S. sells it back to New Brunswick refineries at the full market price,” he said.
He said by estimates, selling oil at a discount is the equivalent of a new school a day and a new hospital a week being built in the U.S. instead of Canada.
“We simply need to expand our pipeline capacity – and the Trans Mountain expansion is a good start.”
The expansion has passed environmental reviews and regulatory hurdles, he said.
“These projects create tens of thousands of jobs and benefit communities across Canada. Sound economic and environmental policies don’t come at the expense of one over the other; better prosperity always means better environmental performance.”
As Parliamentary Secretary to the minister of natural resources M.P. Kim Rudd, said, “We will not allow any province to impinge the federal jurisdiction over national interests.”
Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs said in The House, pipeline construction should have started in November.
“Each day’s delay is worth millions of dollars. Every day is a delay for thousands of jobs. The Liberals know full well all the tools available to get the Trans Mountain expansion built.”