Brett Wilson: Turning off B.C.'s energy taps not a question of 'if,' but 'when'
One of the most outspoken voices from the oil patch says rhetoric surrounding the Canadian pipeline projects are getting “dangerous” and fears it will be a matter of "if" not "when" Alberta makes good on its threat to turn of oil and gas taps to British Columbia.
“I think it’s going to be ‘when,’” Canoe Financial Chairman and FirstEnergy Capital Corp founder W. Brett Wilson told BNN on Tuesday, one day after the Alberta government introduced legislature that would allow the province to restrict the flow of oil and gas leaving the province.
“There’s no reason to not choke the supply.”
When asked about fears of igniting an interprovincial trade war, Wilson said that ship has already sailed.
“We already have a trade war underway in terms of the obstructionist approach [B.C. is] taking to Kinder Morgan and the delays we’ve encountered in terms of Keystone XL,” Wilson said.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe backed Alberta on Tuesday by tweeting “If fuel tanks in British Columbia start to run dry because Alberta has turned the taps off, it won’t be Saskatchewan filling them up.”
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said she remained confident her province would not have to stop the flow of oil and gas to B.C. on Monday night, shortly after Bill 12 was introduced in the Alberta Legislature.
“This legislation will be there if Alberta needs it,” Notley said. “I remain confident that we will not have to use it, but I am also making sure that we are ready with every tool at our disposal.”
However, Wilson said that Alberta could go a step further by grounding British Columbia’s planes.
“I think it’s amusing that we could cut off their access to Ottawa by shutting down their airplanes,” he said. “Stop the fuel. That’s the threat that’s coming. It’s not just unprocessed bitumen. This is processed fuels, jet fuel.”
These comments came one day after Wilson retweeted information about the Vancouver’s Airport Authority’s plans to import jet fuel from Asia with the words: ‘Oh my...’
Wilson said that while he’s pleased with Alberta’s progress in dealing with the conflict, a resolution still needs to be reached.
“It’s better than backing down on blocking their wine from coming into Alberta. That was sort of a first cut at saying: ‘We, too, are offended by the actions you’re taking.’ But now it’s getting into that classic case of the inmates running the asylum,” Wilson said.
“A lot of conversations right now are getting deeper and deeper into really dangerous conversation. We need to bring back the brinksmanship. Put everyone into one room and say: ‘Hey, we’ve got to solve this for the benefit of a place called Canada.’”