The B.C. government and the federal government are continuing to agree to disagree on the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
Premier John Horgan met with the federal cabinet on Wednesday morning in Nanaimo. The issue of the Trans Mountain pipeline came up throughout the meeting.
WATCH HERE: B.C. Premier John Horgan provides updates on B.C. wildfire fight
“Our position remains the same. The federal government, of course, is committed to the project in the form or purchase and completion,” Horgan said.
“We await the outcomes of court cases that were begun prior to our swearing in and we are also preparing a reference case destined at some point for the Supreme Court.”
The B.C. government and the federal government have been engaged in a very public spat over the project since January. Horgan and Trudeau have met multiple times about the pipeline twinning including a meeting in Ottawa between the prime minister, the B.C. premier and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.
WATCH: Keith Baldrey talks about the meeting between B.C. Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
In Wednesday’s meeting, the cabinet discussed the federal government’s Ocean Protection Plan with Horgan and B.C. Finance Minister Carole James. The B.C. government is supportive of the $1.5-billion plan but doesn’t think that it will do enough in case of a spill.
Horgan also raised the issue of a diminishing killer whale population on the coast, and the risk to the wild salmon population.
“It is one irritant within a relationship that is largely positive,” Horgan said of Trans Mountain. “There are a whole host of values that we share, a whole host of issues that we want to work on together.”
Trans Mountain was not the only issue on the agenda. Horgan once again thanked the federal government for support during the ongoing firefight and discussed the links to climate action in addressing future wildfires. The two governments are also focused on skilled worker shortages and infrastructure development.
WATCH HERE: Premier Horgan tours the B.C. central fire zone and meets with evacuees
“I wouldn’t even say there is such division. And I wouldn’t propose to change the premier’s mind,” said Dominic LeBlanc, federal intergovernmental affairs minister. “My job is to work with first ministers and my cabinet colleagues to advance issues that are important to Canadians.”
National support for the Trans Mountain pipeline is split. Based on recent polling, a slim majority of Canadians are in support of the project. But hundreds of people showed up outside the meeting in Nanaimo on Wednesday to protest the federal government’s role in the project.
WATCH: Protesters confront Trudeau Liberals over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase
“We are in Nanaimo to make sure that Prime Minister Trudeau understands that his pipeline will never be built,” Tsleil-Waututh Nation member Will George said.
“Our resistance and resolve have only gotten stronger since the federal buyout announcement. Trudeau will not get away with forcing a tar sands pipeline through unceded lands.”
The protest was organized by the Wilderness Committee, Rise and Resist, Coast Protectors, Protect the Inlet, Stand and Sierra Club BC.
“With fires raging across British Columbia and beyond, we’re getting a preview of what climate change will bring to this part of the world,” said Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island campaigner with the Wilderness Committee.
“Forcing a tar sands pipeline through now without the consent of Indigenous Nations and local communities is completely unacceptable. The federal government needs to know that this coast won’t stand for it.”