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Apr 11, 2018

B.C. Green Party’s Weaver slams Alberta, feds' 'panicked' Trans Mountain response

Trans Mountain approval process was a sham: Andrew Weaver

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B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver says he’s standing by the province’s legal challenges against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, calling the Alberta and federal government's responses to the dispute “panicked.”

“British Columbia has said, ‘Let us seek a judicial ruling on this,’ because B.C. believes it is in their jurisdiction to regulate that which comes across its borders,” Weaver said in an interview with BNN Wednesday.

“Frankly, in my own view, if the province of Alberta and the federal government are actually so sure of their case, they would have joined British Columbia in doing this. Instead, we have this panicked response that one could interpret as a fear that they in fact don’t have the jurisdiction federally.”

Weaver’s comments come as Kinder Morgan Canada’s $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has been cast in doubt after the company announced it is suspending non-essential spending on the pipeline amid mounting opposition from British Columbia.

B.C. Premier John Horgan is pursuing a reference case in the courts to determine if his government can control the shipment of bitumen oil through the province on environmental grounds.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed that the Trans Mountain project will proceed, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has also said the province would buy the pipeline project outright if that’s what it takes to get it built.

Weaver said that while it’s clear the Canadian oil sector is hurting, the country’s focus on pipelines won’t help the economy.

“[Stephen] Harper and the Conservatives went all-in on an oil economy at a time when the rest of the world was diversifying its economy, and moving toward renewables, moving toward clean tech and bringing technology together with our resource sector,” Weaver said. 

“Dragging us, kicking and screaming back to the early 21st century is precisely what’s going to leave us behind.”