Alberta Premier Rachel Notley (Black Press files)

Trans Mountain court action continues, John Horgan says

Federal takeover doesn’t change oil spill risk to B.C. coast

The B.C. government is carrying on with its reference case against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Premier John Horgan told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an early-morning phone call Tuesday.

Horgan told reporters in Victoria the federal government’s takeover of the project changes the legal situation, but his contentious legal action isn’t aimed at any specific project. It’s about the province’s jurisdiction to regulate bitumen transport by pipeline, rail or road and B.C. lawyers have advised that it can proceed, he said.

The federal takeover of the existing line makes the Trudeau government “totally accountable” for risks of a tanker spill, and “allows me to have more candid conversations with the owners of the pipeline,” Horgan said.

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said taxpayers will be the owners of the project.

“John Horgan picked a fight with Alberta and provoked a constitutional crisis with Ottawa over this project and this is now the embarrassing result,” Wilkinson said. “Horgan and the NDP will continue to play politics with British Columbia’s future, and this time it will cost us billions.”

Alberta is putting up to $2 billion towards construction of the project, and work is underway to get construction going, Premier Rachel Notley said Tuesday.

Notley held a jubilant news conference in front of the legislature in Edmonton after the federal government announced it is buying the 65-year-old oil pipeline from Alberta to the B.C. coast.

“It’s very possible we might not have to spend a cent of it,” Notley said of the financial backing, which would be payable only when oil begins to flow from the twinned pipeline. Any money put toward construction would be converted into an equity stake in the federal project, she said.

Notley said the federal takeover gives the project “federal Crown immunity,” which casts doubt on B.C.’s reference case to test the province’s jurisdiction.

TransMountain

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney dogs lose a beloved companion

Dozens gathered in Beacon Park to remember Sidney’s ‘dog whisperer’

Third time lucky for Freedom Mobile cell tower in Sooke

Council approves tower after cell provider applies multiple times

T’Sou-ke First Nation mired in legal woes over gas station development

Claims and counterclaims leave sub-contractors unpaid

Victoria International Airport named one of the best employers in B.C.

Cited reasons include its training programs and tuition subsidies

Thief robs Saanich liquor store at gunpoint, takes cash register

Police ask for public’s help with ongoing investigation

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Pipeline talks got B.C. railway open, can work again: Horgan

Premier says protest excesses damage Wet’suwet’en case

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

Maggie and Tim: B.C. residential school survivor turns to faith, forgiveness in mourning son

A young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett standing by to return to Smithers

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Most Read