Kinder Morgan president wants quick resolution to B.C.-Alberta trade dispute

Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson says Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's move to ban the import of B.C. wine shows how important the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is.

'It's unfortunate it's come down to this,' Ian Anderson says over interprovincial discord

'I never wanted to be the nexus of a trade dispute between provinces, but it's certainly speaking to the severity of the matter,' Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson told the CBC. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

The president of Kinder Morgan Canada says he never wanted to be in the middle of an interprovincial trade dispute.

Speaking the day after Premier Rachel Notley announced Alberta would no longer import B.C. wine — in reaction to British Columbia's restriction of diluted bitumen shipments — Ian Anderson said he hoped the standoff would be solved soon so that his company's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project could continue apace.

"It's disappointing. It's unfortunate it's come down to this. I never wanted to be the nexus of a trade dispute between provinces, but it's certainly speaking to the severity of the matter," Anderson, an Alberta resident, told Stephen Quinn on CBC's The Early Edition.

"I drink B.C. wine myself so I'm not going to be having any anytime soon if this continues."

On Tuesday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said she would halt the import of B.C. wine immediately, in response to B.C. Premier John Horgan's plans to restrict diluted bitumen shipments and further study oil spill risks of the Trans Mountain expansion.

"I feel for wine producers in British Columbia who are affected by this and it was never my goal or intention for this to be the result of the dispute between the provinces," Anderson said.

Anderson says he is confident that Kinder Morgan has done all it can to make the Trans Mountain project possible but maintains that the B.C. government is playing politics.

"I don't think there's any surprise really in what's motivating the B.C. government," Anderson said.

"The B.C. government has stated its intention long ago to use every tool they can to prevent the construction of this project … that's the spirit we believe in which they're taking their actions now."

Anderson says the Alberta government is doing what it feels it has to do, but he hopes the dispute is settled soon.

"Rachel Notley and her government are looking at what tools they have in their toolkit and they've determined this is a statement," he explained.

"Hopefully we get past it and we'll get talking about the men and women we want to put to work on this project."

Moving forward

Notley has said the Alberta government is prepared to take legal action in this matter, which Anderson says could lead to more delays.

"They can also produce clarity and certainty and that's what I'm striving for," said Anderson.

"I'm confident that we have done the work, we've done the research, we've done the study, we've prepared ourselves to execute this project safely and responsibly."

Although the project is currently involved with court battles with First Nations communities, environmentalists and municipalities, Anderson says he has seen an increase of support for the project.

"The voice of the opposition certainly attracts most of the headlines, but I know and I'm quite confident we have a strong network of support behind the project," he said.

"Our interests are in putting people to work and in creating opportunities for communities and businesses and Indigenous communities and to have anyone harmed in this whole endeavour is certainly not our objective."

With files from The Early Edition

BC plans to restrict diluted bitumen shipments to further study oil spill risks of the Trans Mountain expansion. Alberta's now banning imports of BC wine in retaliation. We speak with Kinder-Morgan Canada's president Ian Anderson. 12:36

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