Alberta minister apologizes for calling B.C. government ‘s**theads’
Alberta’s minister of economic development and trade is apologizing for some choice words directed as his counterparts on the other side of the Rockies.
Deron Bilous called the B.C. government “a bunch of s–t heads” over its approach to the Trans Mountain pipeline debate, the Edmonton Journal reported.
Coverage of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Globalnews.ca:
The comments were directed toward a crowd at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association conference on Wednesday.
“Quite frankly, ideally, we need to be more collaborative with the provinces on either side of us, although B.C. is being a bunch of s–theads,” he said, according to the newspaper.
“But we’re going to do what we can to get the pipeline built.”
Bilous made the comments as the two provinces continue to feud about the Trans Mountain pipeline twinning.
The B.C. government has vowed to do everything possible to stop the project. The Alberta government has promised to cut off gas and oil shipments to British Columbia if the B.C. government stands in the project’s way.
Bilous apologized soon after making the comments and says he used the word “s–thead” out of frustration at the B.C. government’s delay tactics over the Kinder Morgan pipeline project.
When asked about the comment on Thursday, Bilous reiterated that he should have chosen different language to get his point across.
“I should have used more diplomatic language and for that, I did apologize and I am sorry,” he said.
However, he maintained that the government is committed to the project.
“My feelings are the same in that our government and Premier Notley have been working very hard to get this pipeline built. We’ve said on a number of occasions that this is in the best interest of all Canadians. We need to get world-class prices for our world-class products and this is absolutely critical,” he said.
“Canada is losing out on billions of dollars in GDP because of essentially us having one customer.”
B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman called the comments “inappropriate” and said he remains focused on B.C.’s interests.
“I think most people in British Columbia and I think Alberta would agree that is just inappropriate for a minister and understand the minister has apologized,” said Heyman.
“We have tried to stay calm through this dispute and have always insisted the place to resolve our differences if they exist are in the courts.”
The B.C. government is planning to bring a reference question before the courts to determine whether the province has the constitutional right to protect B.C.’s interests by restricting the flow of bitumen by rail or pipeline through the province.
Lawyer Joseph Arvay has been hired on to provide legal counsel.
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