Alberta BC Trade Dispute

May 2, 2018 9:16 pm
Updated: May 3, 2018 9:17 am

B.C. business leaders heading to Edmonton to show province is ‘great place to do business’

A man holds a sign while listening during a rally in support of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 10, 2018.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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In the midst of an ongoing feud over the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, 100 business, Indigenous, community and labour leaders from British Columbia are heading to Edmonton to show that B.C. is still “open for business.”

Dubbed “The Federation Flight,” the delegation has a scheduled meeting with Alberta premier Rachel Notley and a luncheon presentation hosted by the Edmonton and Calgary Chambers of Commerce.

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READ MORE: ‘A crisis of confidence’: B.C. businesses want Trudeau to stand firm on Kinder Morgan pipeline

“The Federation Flight is a continuation of the Confidence in Canada coalition’s efforts, and supports a positive relationship among all provinces of Canada, with the Trans Mountain expansion Project as its catalyst,” said Greater Vancouver Board of Trade CEO Iain Black.

“This one-day trip to Alberta is a chance to reinforce the current importance of this country’s energy and resource sectors for the benefit of all Canadians.”

The trip across the Rockies is scheduled for May 17. Tensions between Alberta and B.C. have escalated over the last several weeks following a decision by Kinder Morgan to suspend all non-essential spending on its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The company has set a May 31 deadline for the federal government to provide a guarantee that the pipeline will be built.

READ MORE: B.C. continues to be ‘divided’ on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

The B.C. business community is concerned that if the $7.4 billion pipeline expansion is not built, other companies will walk away from projects in the province as well.

The announcement of the one-day trip comes on the heels of a new Ipsos poll showing that a majority of British Columbians are in favour of the pipeline.

“This is a meaningful initiative that highlights the importance of internal trade within Canada. There is a lot of talk, and rightly so, going on about market access and pipelines. This summit is about that, but also so much more,” said Calgary Chamber of Commerce Sandip Lalli.

“Alberta and B.C. have critical business-to-business relationships, regardless of what is going on between governments, and we’re looking forward to strengthening these.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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