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Environment

Question Period: More on the dodgy economic case for the Trans Mountain pipeline

Today in the legislature I had the opportunity to rise once more in Question Period to question government further about the dubious economic justifications underpinning Alberta and Federal rhetoric supporting the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Below I reproduce the video and text of my exchange with the Minister of the Environment.


Video of Exchange



Question


A. Weaver: Yesterday, I asked the government whether they share the concerns being raised by many experts about the economics of the Trans Mountain pipeline. I’d like to pick up on that here.

Earlier this year and for the very first time, a new class of tanker — a very large crude carrier, or VLCC — left the newly refurbished Louisiana Offshore Oil Port destined for Asia. These tankers can load over two million barrels of oil, and the LOOP facility can fill them at a whopping rate of 100,000 barrels an hour.

The Aframax-class tankers that would leave the terminus at the end of the Trans Mountain pipeline can only take 555,000 barrels of diluted bitumen out of Burrard Inlet. That means that any Asian buyer would need to contract four Aframax tankers from the Trans Mountain terminus versus only one VLCC from the LOOP facility.

Based on this obvious economic reality that any Asian buyers would be serviced by the VLCCs out of the U.S. and not out of the terminus of Trans Mountain, my question is this, to the either the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance or the Premier, if he’s here: is her government or his government and her ministry or the Premier’s office taking a hard look at the financial case for the Kinder Morgan pipeline?


Answer


Hon. G. Heyman: Thank you to the Leader of the Third Party for the question. I and other members of the government are certainly aware of the controversy around the economics, the different studies, the changes in conditions and different alternatives. I thank the Leader of the Third Party for reading these into the record.

But with respect to the Leader of the Third Party, it is the job of proponents to determine the economics. It is the job of other governments backing the project to determine the merits of the economics. I think all Canadian taxpayers would want other governments to take a long, hard look at the economics of a project in which they’re considering investing billions of dollars.

But our job, as the government of British Columbia, is to look at the interests of our environment and our economy, and that’s what we’re doing. That’s why we are considering every measure, every inch of our constitutional jurisdiction — to protect against a catastrophe that’s possible, that could have significant and awful economic interests on British Columbia. Tourism alone — 19,000 tourism businesses in British Columbia, employing 133,000 people in every corner of this province, in every constituency represented by members in this chamber.

It’s our duty, it’s our responsibility, to look out for those people. It’s not our responsibility to ignore them because a large project comes along. Our job is to ensure that if there are large projects, they don’t impact and take away the livelihood of those people or the $17 billion in revenue that the tourism industry generates every year in British Columbia.

Mr. Speaker: The Leader of the Third Party on a supplemental.


Supplementary Question


A. Weaver: I do thank the minister for his answer and his commitment to protecting British Columbia. But I respectfully disagree, because I believe it is the government’s responsibility to inform British Columbians about the economics of this proposal.

Why? Because the previous government claimed that the economic benefits for British Columbia were very large and, in fact, claimed that the government’s fifth condition was apparently met. Now unfortunately, the fifth condition was based on assertions that were put towards the 2012 National Energy Board in the submission. It’s now six years old, and many of the fundamental assumptions of that submission, of that economic case, on which the government claimed its fifth condition was met, are no longer valid.

Keystone XL and line 3 have been approved. That means that we have more than a million barrels a day of export capacity, which was unaccounted for. We’ve got North America now having the ability to ship through VCCs — that was never able. And we know that you can’t get bigger ships in Burrard Inlet. This government, I would argue, has a responsibility to review those numbers, so that British Columbians are given correct, accurate and up-to-date information about the economics of this project.

My question, Hon. Speaker, is to the Minister of Environment — through you and then through the Minister of Finance, who still has laryngitis. The previous provincial government made claims about the economic benefits to B.C. from this pipeline, that have been cast into serious doubt. Why isn’t this government examining the economic case more closely?


Answer


Hon. G. Heyman: Again, I thank the Leader of The Third Party. As he respectfully disagrees with me about the role of our government in this regard, I respectfully assert again to him that this is not a project that this government thinks is good for British Columbia. We’ve made that clear. We think the risk is so great, and far outweighs the reward.

What we are doing is ensuring that within our jurisdiction, within our ability to regulate and place conditions on a project that is federally decided upon — subject to an appeal to the federal court — we ensure that conditions and regulations are in place to protect our economy.

It’s important up and down our coast. We have a fisheries and seafood industry that contributes more than $660 million every year to our gross domestic product, and it employs 14,000 people, paying almost $400 million in wages.

Just yesterday, 450 businesses understood why we were taking this position; 450 B.C. businesses signed a joint letter calling on the government to continue to stand up for our coast and the tens of thousands of jobs that depend on protecting our coastline and our environment from a spill.

Toad Road yet still no Abode

Yesterday in environment estimate debates I asked a number of questions concerning several species at risk. One of the purposes of my line of questioning was to attempt to unravel systemic inter-ministry jurisdictional red tape.

I am pleased that the Minister reiterated his commitment to bringing in Species at Risk Legislation.

Below I reproduce the text and video of the four question/answer exchanges I had with the Minister.


Western Toad


A. Weaver: Two years ago, the previous government invested $200,000 in the creation of a so-called toad road tunnel to allow western toads to migrate safely across Highway 6 to their upland habitat. Following this investment to help the toads, the Nakusp and Area Community Forest — that’s NACFOR — logging company slated 30 hectares of this upland territory for clearcut.

In response to this, two years ago I urged the B.C. government to protect the western toad habitat around Summit Lake before it is too late for the endangered western toads. My question to the minister is this. Does the minister think that the habitat protection and restoration for the western toad has been achieved, and if not, is there money in this budget to actually achieve it?

Hon. G. Heyman: Thank you to the member for the question. There may be more information that we may be able to gather for the member, but the area to which the member refers is also an area designated as goal 2 in the 1990s, as part of land use planning around Summit Lake. Goal 2 has not been realized. It is still under active discussion in terms of whether to include the area in question in Summit Lake Park.

Responsibility for the road itself is with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Management of critical habitat, with respect to toad protection and the logging impacts on that habitat, rests with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

I’m not really in position to say to the member whether it’s adequate or not because this ministry isn’t managing that aspect of logging. That could change in the future, when we have different legislation in place, but not currently.


Habitat Conservation Trust Fund


A. Weaver: That brings me to a general point I had in quite a number of questions, if I will ask them. It’s the issue of species at risk. Right now, of course, there are numerous species at risk in the province of British Columbia. These species at risk are distributed…. Jurisdiction for them is in various ministries, whether it be FLNRO; Transportation, if you have a road; Environment, in some cases; or Agriculture, in some cases. It’s quite complex, and there seems to be no overall strategy here.

One of the species — at least a subspecies, or a herd within a species — is the southern Selkirk caribou. According to an article in the Vancouver Sun yesterday, the grey ghost herd in the southern Selkirk Mountains has become functionally extinct. My understanding is that there are three females left in this herd. The herd was a grand total of 14 last year and has dramatically dropped over the last 16 years.

This has been despite B.C.’s attempt to save them. B.C., for example, did protect 2.2 million acres of old-growth forest. They restricted snowmobile access to some core habitat areas. Hunting of caribou was restricted decades ago in the area. Some of the hunters in the region are actually some of the most conservation-minded, the most concerned as to seeing what’s going on, recognizing that they are not to blame.

What is to blame is natural habitat degradation. I recognize that in most aspects, that falls within FLNRO. However, the Environmental Law Centre legal director, Calvin Sandborn, stated that the province has failed to curtail logging and to fully implement snowmobile bans and that the province, in fact, has granted the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation $2 million to create a caribou habitat restoration fund.

Now, which jurisdiction this falls to, I’m not quite sure. Habitat Conservation Trust Fund has got “Habitat,” which I would suggest would fall into FLNRO, but “Conservation,” I would suggest, is probably Environment, because it’s a species at risk.

My question to the minister is this. If the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund is not within the Ministry of Environment, does the minister intend to get involved and address the shortcomings of the efforts to protect the caribou? I think we can all agree that that herd is on its way to extirpation. Does the minister intend to take more substantial enforcement action, within his mandate, from other jurisdictions in addition to granting the restoration fund to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation?

Hon. G. Heyman: Thank you to the member for the question. The Habitat Conservation Trust Fund used to be under Forests, Lands and National Resource Operations. It’s now entirely separate from government, essentially private.

In terms of the overlap of interest and jurisdiction, with FLNRO, the answer that we’ve come up with so far is that the staff of both ministries work closely together on issues where FLNRO has authority, where the ministry is contemplating authority through species-at-risk legislation and where, obviously, we have an interest in terms of species at risk. We have been doing that on caribou, for instance.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and National Resource Operations is producing and is about to distribute a discussion paper on caribou. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is finalizing a public discussion paper on species-at-risk legislation. We’ll have further announcements on a consultation.

It doesn’t make sense to consult on species at risk without simultaneously consulting on land use planning so we will coordinate our activities on the two. FLNRO is the lead on recovery activities, and Environment is the lead on policy development through species-at-risk legislation.

We are the lead on discussions with the federal government with respect to actions that can be taken in areas where it is not too late to recover and enhance caribou populations, and we’re the lead with the federal government on consultations to the species-at-risk legislation.

Chair, I believe the member has a number of more questions. If it’s a question, then I’d be happy to take it. If it’s a number, perhaps we could take a short recess.


Western Painted Turtles


A. Weaver: I have one pressing question. I think we canvassed parking lots in a very detailed fashion over the last week or so. I have a number of questions that I feel we need to explore with respect to species at risk and areas that have not been canvassed.

This particular one, again — it’s just the one, and I understand you need a break — points to the quagmire of jurisdictional responsibilities. This one is with respect to abandoned aquarium pets. People may not think that’s a problem, but in fact, abandoned aquarium pets are threatening the survival of the endangered western painted turtle population of Vancouver Island. Given that the western painted turtle hatchlings are just beginning to emerge from their nests with promising numbers — the endangered population is up 20 percent, in terms of the nest numbers, from the summer of 2017 — it’s more important than ever to protect the survival of western painted turtles.

Now, again, what jurisdiction does this fall within? Certainly, the species-at-risk legislation — which, I understand, the government is consulting on — would presumably kick in at some point, but right now we have an issue of an invasive species being brought in. Those are the abandoned aquarium pets. At the other time, we have a species that’s at risk.

The question is this. Does the minister intend to take steps to mitigate the release of abandoned aquarium pets? Is it in his jurisdiction? Or is it in some other jurisdiction? Or does the minister have other plans in place to ensure the continued growth of the endangered western painted turtle?

Hon. G. Heyman: First of all, I’d like to recognize that this is a complicated and intricate web of regulations and overlapping jurisdiction — the member’s quite right — and the more we can sort that out, the better it is for everyone.

For instance, I had a meeting the other day with members of the Invasive Species Council. They asked if we were intending to bring in an invasive species act and raised some very good points, which we are considering. There are 17 pieces of legislation currently that address this issue, which is not, in my view, a very effective way to figure out who’s got responsibility for what.

In the case of abandoned aquarium pets, that would be addressed under the controlled alien species regulation, which is pursuant to the Wildlife Act, but enforcement of that regulation — obviously, it’s illegal to dump — is with the conservation officer service, and they’re very aware of the need. Where the public is aware of an illegal release of an invasive species, they can phone the RAPP line, which is the report all poachers and polluters line, and that’s how people get information.

We have also added additional conservation officers in this year’s budget — 12 new positions. All in all, there’ll be 20, because there were some existing positions on paper that weren’t funded, so they weren’t filled. That, we hope, will make a difference. In addition, we are, as I mentioned, developing species-at-risk legislation. We will put out an intentions paper in the fall, and we hope to simplify the province’s ability to protect species like the western painted turtle.

I think the other point the member made, although not directly, is that we need to ensure the public knows more about the threat of simply…. They may think it’s fine to dump a species that they’ve had as a pet that they no longer wish to have as a pet. In some cases it’s illegal to possess those animals in the first place. In other cases, it’s certainly illegal to release them into the wild.

We need to do more public education, and I’d be happy to discuss that further with the member and my staff, around what people’s responsibilities are, as well as the responsibility of the public to report violations, because these aren’t violations without impact. They’re violations with consequence for other species. Thank you to the member again for raising the point.

If it’s now appropriate to take a recess, it would be welcome.


Video of Exchange for 1st three questions



Screech owl, western skink, western grebe & American badger.


A. Weaver: I’ve got a number of questions. I do have a meeting at five, so I’ll ask one now, and if the estimates are still going when I get back, I’ve got a number more.

There have been, as you know, 16 years of watching species go extinct in this province, and some care has not been given to these species. One of the key ones that’s happening, with a project that’s in a Liberal riding…. Again, I’ve gone to a number of questions in these Liberal ridings that seem not to have been canvassed, other than parking lots.

In this particular one, it’s with respect to a project that was proposed by the previous government: Highway 97 Stickle Road project. Now, why this is an important project is that there are four protected species that are affected in the marsh at Stickle Road. These four protected species are the screech owl, the western skink, the western grebe and the American badger.

My question, then, is…. Again, this is in a jurisdictional nightmare. The reason why this is a jurisdictional nightmare is because the Ministry of Transportation is the one that approves the plan, on the one hand. On the other hand, we’ve got FLNRO involved. We’ve got species involved.

My question to the minister is with respect to how, if any, plans…. Or if there is any money in the budget to actually work to protect these four species in this critical area — which are protected, because they’re special concern species — with respect to this Stickle Road project. In particular, to what extent does his ministry work with the Ministry of Transportation to ensure that species like this are actually accounted for in decision-making processes?

Hon. G. Heyman: I recognize that the member isn’t here, but he’s correct — Hansard will show the answer to this question — that the Stickle Road project is being undertaken to address matters of public safety.

We are, as is the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, aware of the wetlands in the area. The permitting process is under Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, engaged with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The decisions on mitigation measures would be made at the local level.

We would be happy to pass on to the ministries in question that the member has an interest in specific measures to address the four species at risk that were identified and are certainly willing to just sit in and monitor the conversation, because it may be helpful to us, as well, as we frame species-at-risk legislation and plan how we’re going to make the different jurisdictional regimes work together effectively.


Video of Exchange for last question



Question Period: On the economic justification for the Trans Mountain pipeline

Yesterday in the legislature I had the opportunity to rise in Question Period to question government about the dubious economic justifications underpinning Alberta and Federal rhetoric supporting the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Below I reproduce the video and text of the exchange with the Minister of the Environment.


Video of Exchange



Question


A. Weaver: The federal and Alberta governments, not to mention the B.C. Liberals, with their alternate facts, hysterical rhetoric and revisionist history, have been fearmongering about the risks to our economy if the Trans Mountain expansion doesn’t go ahead.

Mr. Speaker: Member, if I may stop you for a moment. If you could ensure that your question does not refer to the opposition, since it’s supposed to be directed to the government member.

A. Weaver: That’s fair enough, hon. Speaker. I’ll make sure it doesn’t refer to the members opposite. I assume, hon. Speaker, that this will also be applied to when we’re referred to in their questions, because it’s been multiple times over the time that we’ve had here that they’ve referred to us. I look forward to that. Thank you.

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Members.

A. Weaver: But it’s been reported that governments are actually basing economic claims on an analysis commissioned by Kinder Morgan itself. Experts are raising significant questions about this analysis, whether it’s because of changes in market conditions, flawed methodology or erroneous assumptions about how the oil markets function. Some raise serious doubts about the argument that we could fetch a higher price for our oil in Asia than in the U.S. One expert called this argument “kind of bogus.”

Add to this the fact that the price of oil has collapsed. In making its business case, Kinder Morgan assumed a price of $100 to $150 per barrel, and prices are now $60 per barrel.

My question is to the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, who I understand has laryngitis, so I will pose this question to the Minister of Environment. We’ve heard this government talk about the risk of a spill to our environment. But what is their position on the questionable claims made about the economic benefits of this pipeline?


Answer


Hon. G. Heyman: Thank you to the Leader of the Third Party for the question and raising these issues in the Legislature. Certainly, I’m aware of the difference in the market price of oil. I’m aware of questions that have been raised about the economics of the project as, I suspect, are most members of the House. However, with respect to those questions, that is not the primary concern of our government, nor is it the responsibility of our government to determine the economics of a project which we have neither initiated nor sought.

What is our job, however, is to ensure that we do everything we can to protect British Columbia’s economy, the tens of thousands of jobs in tourism, in film and television, in the seafood sector, and the billions in economic development that stand with it, all of which could be at risk from a single spill of diluted bitumen. We believe that we must defend B.C.’s economy. We must defend our interest. We must defend our environment.

We understand it’s a federal project — federally regulated — a project in terms of allowing it. We understand also that the constitution has a clear role for provinces in permitting, in conditions and in regulating against negative impacts that are a concern and a detriment to our province.


Supplementary Question


A. Weaver: The economic conditions have indeed changed significantly since Kinder Morgan was approved. We’ve seen oil prices crater due to world market changes. We face huge uncertainty about future prices due to new supply and to massive technological shifts, as markets around the world embrace renewable technology. Energy experts say it’s basically now impossible to predict future prices.

The analysis that Kinder Morgan relied upon in its application to the NEB and its claims of the economic benefits to Canada from this pipeline fundamentally assumed that there was no other export capacity that would be built.

Since then, Keystone XL and line 3 have now been approved, which add over one million barrels a day of export capacity. We now have more capacity than we need. In light of the trends, it’s absolutely shocking that our federal government is willing to put taxpayer money behind this pipeline.

 

My question, again — through you, through the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, who has laryngitis, to the Minister of Environment — is this: will this government demand that the federal government and the government of Alberta publicly release their economic case justifying their rhetorical assertions as to the economics of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and its fundamental business case for national security and national importance?


Answer


Hon. G. Heyman: While it isn’t the job of the province of British Columbia, specifically, to make demands of the federal government with respect to business cases, when the federal government or the government of Alberta proposes putting public money into a project, I think they’d be well advised to listen to the advice of the Premier of British Columbia, who said: “Our focus, and we think every province and every government in Canada’s focus, should be on adding value to our resources and creating the most jobs possible for resources.”

That’s what we’re trying to do here in British Columbia. We’re trying to get the most value from our resources to give the most value to British Columbians, who want jobs, rather than profits to corporations headquartered outside of this province.

We will continue to take every step that we’re allowed under the constitution to protect tens of thousands of jobs and to protect our tourism industry, our seafood industry, our film industry — the billions of dollars in GDP — from the tremendous threat of a catastrophic oil spill that could be caused by a pipeline rupture. It could be caused by a train derailment. And it could be caused by a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic off our shores.

Question Period: Corporate welfare and the Trans Mountain project.

Today in the legislature I rose during question period to ask the Premier about his recent meeting in Ottawa with Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta and Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister. I rose third in Question Period between internally inconsistent questions that the BC Liberals also posed to the Premier. It seemed to me that the BC Liberals were more concerned about the interests of Albertans than they were about the protection of the BC economy and environment.

Below I reproduce the video and text of my exchange with the Premier. I was very pleased with his clear responses to my two questions.


Video of Exchange



Question


A. Weaver: I must admit, it’s galling for me to hear members of the Liberal Party of Alberta opposite wax eloquently about ocean protection — an area that I actually served as an intervenor on. I can assure you that when there’s an ocean protection plan that’s predicated on the existence of 20 hours of sunlight, nobody’s safety is being protected here in the province of British Columbia.

Yesterday the Premier met with the Prime Minister and the Alberta Premier to discuss the manufactured conflict over the Trans Mountain expansion that has the side opposite, the Liberal members from Alberta, all in a tizzy these days.

After the meeting, the Premier stated that he and the Prime Minister agreed to protect our coasts by working together to close gaps in the ocean protection plan. The federal ocean protection plan — let’s be clear, that’s Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific; it’s all three of them — doesn’t address the fundamental and unchanged fact that we cannot protect our coast. We can’t clean up the diluted bitumen if there we’re a spill. You don’t have to believe me, you can believe the Royal Society of Canada or the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S. expert panel reports.

Will the Premier confirm that B.C.’s position is unchanged today and that he will use every tool available to him to stand up for our coast, for science and for our economy in the face of the proposed reckless federal intervention in the Trans Mountain expansion.

Mr. Speaker: Premier, before you answer the question….

Member, if I may ask you to retract your comment about the Liberals from Alberta.

A. Weaver: Sorry, I retract the comment about the Liberals from Alberta. I was trying to suggest that the members opposite are not putting the interests of British Columbians first, and are representing external interests.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you.


Answer


Hon. J. Horgan: I thank the member, the Leader of the Third Party, for his question and, particularly, the reference to the Royal Society of Canada and the gaps there are in the science, which, again, brings me back, also, to the question from the previous member.

The government of British Columbia has been meeting regularly with the federal government on the ocean protection plan and discussing the gaps in knowledge, the gaps in science that have been acknowledged by the Royal Society. In fact, that was the foundation of our intervention to go to the public and talk about these issues in January.

I reaffirmed those points, hon. Member, to the Prime Minister and to the leader of the government of Alberta. I said very clearly and without reservation that the province of British Columbia is extremely concerned about the consequences of a catastrophic bitumen spill.

And I’ll remind the member for Skeena, who’s been silent in this House but active outside, of when he said, back in 2013: “There’s no real way to pick this product up out of the marine environment. If they can prove that, then they should show us where it’s being practised around the world. I’m just not willing to actually allow the Haisla people to take a position on that.”

So even some members on that side, hon. Member, agree with us that there is inexact science. We need to do more work on the subject.


Supplementary Question


A. Weaver: There’s growing evidence to suggest that Kinder Morgan set their outrageous ultimatum as either part of an exit strategy or in order to hand over the financial risk to Canadian taxpayers.

During the NEB hearings on Trans Mountain — I get that the people opposite don’t understand the economics of this — the company brought forward projections that the price of oil in the base-case scenario — if any of them had read the NEB process, they would understand this — would be $100 a barrel. Its best-case scenario saw prices reach $150 a barrel by 2040.

Since then, the development and discovery of new shale oil deposits, as well as OPEC policy changes, mean that oil has been trading at between $40 and $60 a barrel. Even the most optimistic forecast for 2020 is out around $70 a barrel. Despite this new reality, the federal and Alberta governments seem committed to transfer the economic risks onto Canadian taxpayers.

My question is to the Premier. Did he bring up with the Prime Minister the notion that subsidizing this project exposes B.C. taxpayers and Canadian taxpayers to massive risk at a time when there is growing uncertainty about Trans Mountain’s economic benefits, if any, and that it is not in line with the type of economic development needed to position Canada as a leader in the new economy?


Answer


Hon. J. Horgan: I thank the member for the question. We did raise, with the federal Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister of Canada, where the economics were in having the government of Canada intervene on behalf of an offshore company to invest B.C. and Canadian tax dollars in a pipeline, when there were other more constructive investments that they could make in the new economy, in the green economy. Or, at a minimum, even if they wanted to invest in diluted bitumen, to work with all parties…. I’m sure members on that side of the House would agree that if we could create more jobs in Canada by adding more value to our raw materials, whether it be diluted bitumen or logs, we should do that.

That was rejected by the government. They chose the course that I believe they’ll be laying out for the people of Canada in the days and weeks ahead, and it’ll be up to the Members of Parliament to debate those mechanisms, those tools, as they come forward. But it will be up to British Columbians and all Canadians to ask themselves if this is an appropriate investment of tax dollars.

Prime Minister’s willingness to put federal dollars on the line in response to ultimatums should alarm all Canadians

Today I released a media statement in response to the meeting in Ottawa between Rachel Notley, Justin Trudeau and John Horgan concerning the future of the Transmountain pipeline project. It is reproduced below.


Media Release


Weaver: Prime Minister’s willingness to put federal dollars on the line in response to ultimatums should alarm all Canadians
For immediate release
April 15, 2018

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, issued the following statement following the meeting between Premiers John Horgan and Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Trudeau regarding the Trans Mountain pipeline.

“I am encouraged to see Premier Horgan continue to stand up for B.C.’s right to protect our economy, our environment and our people,” said Weaver.

“It is deeply troubling that the Prime Minister is considering using public funds to absorb investor risk in this project. The message this sends to investors is that if they issue ultimatums for projects based on fundamentally faulty economic rationale, the Prime Minister will put taxpayer dollars on the line to bail them out. Since Kinder Morgan made its case to the NEB predicated on oil prices being at least $100 per barrel, markets have shifted dramatically and oil price projections are between $40-70 per barrel.

“This should concern all Canadians who took the Prime Minister at his word when he said he would build a clean, forward-looking economy. That means providing targeted incentives and support programs for industries who are embracing low-carbon solutions. Instead, the Prime Minister is doubling down on a sunset industry whose expansion puts our climate targets out of reach. We need to be investing in our shared future, not subsidizing the wealth of Texas oil companies.

“Three years into his mandate, it appears the Trudeau Liberals have no actual plan for transitioning to the low-carbon economy. This is a massive missed opportunity to make Canada  a global leader in climate solutions. Worse, his insistence in pushing this project through despite significant Indigenous and community opposition risks everything that makes Canada great – our commitment to human rights, our beautiful natural environment and our international reputation as a peaceful nation of hard workers unafraid to tackle the challenges before us.

“B.C.’s world-leading climate policies introduced by Premier Gordon Campbell showed the world that climate action and a thriving economy are compatible. My caucus is working closely with Premier Horgan’s to develop a climate plan that will make B.C. a world leader once again. We will continue to provide this leadership in B.C. because we know it is the only way to secure a bright economic future for our province and for our country.”

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Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca