Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted a video to his Twitter account Thursday showing his support to build the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline in B.C.
“I wouldn’t approve major pipeline projects if I wasn’t confident they could be done safely,” Trudeau tweets. “And they can be done safely because we’ve made a massive investment in protecting our oceans and coastlines — in B.C. and across the country.”
The video addresses the Oceans Protection Plan, (OPP) a federal program put in place to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. It was shot in Colwood on Vancouver Island.
Trudeau talks to Dr. Kate Moran, president and CEO of Ocean Networks Canada, and Capt. Rob Stewart, president of B.C. Coast Pilots, about the program.
As they talk about the program, some facts appear alongside them — including the fact that the OPP is a $1.5-billion investment, with enhanced 24/7 emergency Coast Guard response, six new radar sites, doubling the tugboat capacity on tankers and enhanced towing capacity on Coast Guard ships.
“We live in a place right here where there is already a tremendous amount of traffic,” Moran says to Trudeau in the video about the OPP.
“It is really a long-term investment,” she says. The funding helped develop Ocean Networks Canada as a world-leading ocean observatory, she continues. “We’re well positioned to partner with the federal government to deliver these data products to make the ocean safer and environmentally-protected.”
Stewart then explains the role of the coast pilots, who direct vessels through the ports and waterways to find the safest route.
“We board, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the first thing we do is make sure the vessel is safe to complete its journey,” he says to Trudeau.
“We have direct links to those communities up and down the coast and we understand what the concerns are. Their concerns are, quite frankly, our concerns.”
Tensions between Alberta and B.C. have escalated dramatically over the last several weeks following a decision this past weekend by Kinder Morgan to suspend all non-essential spending on its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
Kinder Morgan also issued a deadline of May 31 for the government to provide a clear guarantee that it will be able to ultimately complete the project once it ramps up the next phase of investment and construction.
Trudeau has always pledged support for the pipeline and is flying back to Canada from Peru this weekend for a joint meeting with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan over the dispute.
Trudeau is set to put pressure on British Columbia’s provincial government to drop its resistance to the pipeline project, but will try to avoid tougher measures that might alienate voters who helped his Liberals win power, a source close to the matter said on Wednesday.
WATCH: Coverage of the Kinder Morgan pipeline dispute on Globalnews.ca: