B.C. premier to welcome Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion approval if 5 conditions are met
B.C. Premier Christy Clark says she will welcome the federal government’s approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion if the five conditions her government laid out in the past are going to be met.
“We have had a clear and principled position, and we have stuck to our guns,” said Clark. “I have not changed my position on this project one iota from the very beginning.”
The five conditions include regulatory approval for pipeline projects, world-leading spill response both on land and on the water, Indigenous participation and a fair share of profits for British Columbia.
“We have said that these conditions are a pass to get to a ‘yes’ on any proposed project that would move through British Columbia,” said Clark. “We set these conditions out to make sure that British Columbians’ interests would come first should any federal approval of any project come forward.”
Clark says, as of now, almost all of the conditions have been met and significant progress has been made on all of them.
She says they are still working with the federal government on clarifying the details of the new Oceans Protection Plan that was outlined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this month, “so we could be absolutely certain that our coast is protected,” said Clark.
Clark’s government is also working out the details of how exactly B.C. will be getting its fair share of the jobs and economic benefits that the project is expected to generate.
Clark says she is encouraging Trudeau to come to B.C. and share his thinking behind the decision to approve the expansion project.
“Come to British Columbia and talk to the people here about why he believes that this project is indeed in the national interest,” said Clark. “I think it is important that he makes the argument he made in Ottawa on Tuesday here in British Columbia, where so many people are passionate on either side of the project.”
The federal government’s decision to approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project prompted outrage from a number of environmental groups, First Nations and politicians, including Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who said she was personally prepared to go to jail to stop Kinder Morgan. The mayors of Vancouver and Burnaby have voiced their disappointment with the federal government’s decision.
The approval also sparked protests in Vancouver Tuesday night, with hundreds of demonstrators chanting and drumming as they marched through the streets of downtown Vancouver.
WATCH: Opposition to the Trudeau government’s pipeline decision was on full display in Vancouver Tuesday night. Catherine Urquhart reports.
The $6.8-billion project would triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline, from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels a day, and would add 980 kilometres of new pipe along the route from near Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C.
It would also increase the number of tankers leaving Vancouver-area waters seven-fold, from five to 34 per month, prompting fierce opposition from local mayors and First Nations who say any risk of a diluted-bitumen spill is unacceptable.
The project was approved with 157 conditions.
—With files from the Canadian Press
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