‘We shouldn’t be held to ransom’: B.C. resident frustrated with Alberta pipeline battle
It’s the topic on many B.C. residents’ minds these days — the battle brewing between Alberta and B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
Global News asked residents in Vancouver on Tuesday morning what they thought about what was happening between B.C. and Alberta and the federal government.
“We shouldn’t be held to ransom to anyone,” B.C. resident Brian Couche told Global News. “It’s a relationship amongst provinces and sovereign nations of this country. We have a common goal.”
On Monday, the Alberta government introduced legislation that would give the energy minister power to restrict the flow of oil, gasoline and natural gas leaving the province.
This means truckers, pipeline companies and rail operators could be directed on how much product could be shipped to B.C. and when. Anyone violating those directions could face a hefty fine.
Known as Bill 12, it aims to give Alberta the power to adjust what is shipped and where it goes to ensure maximum profitability.
“We’re going to be studying the bill very carefully to make sure this is not a bill that is designed to punish British Columbians as it was advertised in the lead-up to its introduction to the House because such a bill would obviously be illegal and unconstitutional and we would take every step available to British Columbia to reign in that illegal and unconstitutional conduct,” said B.C. Attorney General David Eby.
WATCH: Alberta taking ‘bold action’ amid Trans Mountain pipeline dispute with B.C.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley did fire back, saying British Columbia is not acting like it is part of the larger country of Canada.
She said the move is not designed to punish B.C. for delays in the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but that Alberta is “very committed to putting pressure on B.C. to come around and focus on what this pipeline actually means.”
While many B.C. residents do support the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to B.C., many oppose the $7.4-billion project, which would triple the amount of oil shipped on the current line.
“Well maybe we should consider about restricting our sales of marijuana or weed oil to them and we’ll see how quickly they come to their knees,” Couche joked.
“But myself, I think we’ve got to sit down at the table with Rachel Notley and say, ‘Look, you can’t do this.’ Just imagine if she had control of our water or food or hydro, bare necessities of life? What kind of leader would she be?”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with B.C. Premier John Horgan and Notley in Ottawa on Sunday.
The project has federal approval, but First Nations leaders have raised concerns that the project was approved under the old National Energy Board rules that have been described as “flawed” by federal NDP politicians.
WATCH: ‘We have rights as a nation that have not been met or honoured by this government’: First Nation leader on pipeline consultation
Couche also wants more transparency when it comes to this situation.
“One thing they really haven’t explained to us — why are they so insistent that this pipeline be put through B.C. when we had the pipeline east ready to go, they could pump it north or they could pump it south?” he said.
— with files from Richard Zussman, Simon Little, CKNW, and The Canadian Press
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