British Columbia

Canadian Senate passes motion to pressure PM on Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion

The Senate voted unanimously to pass a motion on Tuesday calling on the Prime Minister to push the project through and use the full weight and power of his office to ensure the completion of the pipeline.

B.C.’s former energy minister says federal government now has ability to push project through

The Canadian Senate has passed a unanimous motion calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to put the full weight and power of his office behind the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project. (Erin Collins/CBC)

There is no question where the Canadian Senate stands on the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project.

The Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass a motion calling on the prime minister to push the project through and use the full weight and power of his office to ensure the completion of the pipeline.

Richard Neufeld, former B.C. energy minister and Canadian Conservative Party senator, presented the motion.

"What we are trying to do is continue to put pressure on the prime minister to actually do what he says he is going to do and not just say it," Neufeld told Stephen Quinn, host of The Early Edition.

He said the motion is a clear message of support for the pipeline from the Senate.

Not all senators were present when the motion passed.

"It was eight o'clock at night so not all senators were there, but all the senators knew that I was going to be speaking to it," Neufeld explained. "We had unanimous consent."

Former B.C. energy minister Richard Neufeld introduced the motion. (Senate of Canada)

'Do what has to be done'

The motion means that the federal government now has the ability to "go in and do what has to be done," regardless of provincial protests and the heated feud between B.C. and Alberta, Neufeld said.  Alberta Premier Rachel Notley recently threatened to cut off oil exports if she saw a push to delay construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, while B.C. Premier John Horgan has continued to express opposition to the project.

Neufeld said he does not believe Horgan's concerns about the environmental impact of the project and the increased tanker traffic are legitimate.

"There is always risk," he said. "There is risk after a new bridge is built, but we trust the engineers and architects and those people that do that work and we drive across them. This is no different."

The Senate will soon debate another bill that could have an effect on the project: Bill S-245, also known as the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project Act.

"It's the same message: Prime Minister, you said [the pipeline] is in Canada's interests and when it's in Canada's interest, the [National Energy Board] and the government of Canada have the responsibility and the ability to actually make that happen," Neufeld said.

With files from The Early Edition.