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Premiers Clark, Redford to meet in Kelowna

B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Premier Alison Redford at western premiers
B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Premier Alison Redford at western premiers' meeting in 2012.
— image credit: Black Press files

Alberta Premier Alison Redford is visiting Kelowna Friday to meet with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

Clark and Redford have a news conference scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday after an hour-long meeting at the Grand Okanagan Resort, where their dispute over oil pipelines will likely dominate the discussion.

The meeting precedes a western premiers' conference set for Manitoba next week. It's the first face-to-face encounter since a tense encounter in Calgary in October 2012, where Clark repeated her five conditions for approval of heavy oil pipelines across B.C. in a meeting she later described as "frosty and quite short."

The sticking point is Clark's demand for a "fair share" of oil revenues. Redford has ruled out any sharing of provincial resource royalties, which are assigned by the constitution to the province where the resources originate.

Clark said after that meeting she informed Redford that the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to export facilities at Kitimat would not be supported as proposed.

The B.C. government backed up that position May 31 in its final written submission to the federal environmental panel on the project. The submission said Enbridge had not provided enough assurance that its spill prevention and response plans were adequate, and B.C. won't support the project as currently proposed.

The Kelowna meeting comes two days after the TransMountain oil pipeline was shut down after discovery of a leak southwest of Merritt. Kinder Morgan Canada said the spill was contained after 12 barrels of light oil escaped, and waterways were not affected.

Kinder Morgan is preparing to apply to federal regulators to twin the pipeline, which winds across B.C. from the Edmonton area to terminals in Burnaby and south to refineries in Washington state.

Hearings continue on the application by Enbridge Inc. to construct its proposed twin pipeline, which would carry light petroleum east and diluted oil sands crude back to Kitimat.

 

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