CHECKUP EPISODE

Who should have the final say on approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline — the feds or the provinces?

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says pipeline politics have brought the country to the edge of a constitutional crisis. B.C. Premier John Horgan says he just wants to ensure his province is protected. Who should have the final say, the feds or the provinces?
A sign warning of an underground petroleum pipeline is seen on a fence at Kinder Morgan's facility where work is being conducted in preparation for the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, in Burnaby, B.C. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)
Listen to the full episode1:52:58

Kinder Morgan stand-off

Host of Cross Country Checkup, Duncan McCue. (Kevin Van Paassen)

Few expected them to emerge the Three Amigos.

When Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, B.C. Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau came out of their meeting today on the stalled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project ...there was less rattling of sabres ...but no agreement either. All parties agreed the meeting was collegial... little else... and we'll get the latest on what happened in Ottawa... in a moment.

This emergency tête-à-tête. Texas-based Kinder Morgan issued an ultimatum this week: no more spending on the $7.4-billion project unless agreements can be reached to resolve all the uncertainties by May 31.

Yet, uncertainty abounds. Alberta's Premier says pipeline politics have brought the country to the edge of a constitutional crisis. B.C.'s Premier says he just wants to ensure his province is protected.

The Prime Minister vows the pipeline will be built, asserting it's a balance between the economy and environment and in the national interest. But how to satisfy two warring provinces? 

How exactly does the federal government enforce a pipeline in the face of such opposition to more oil tankers on B.C.'s coast and concerns about climate change? With RCMP arresting 200 protesters and counting, social license remains in doubt.

Indigenous peoples are no bit players in this debate. Six First Nations are in court, arguing they weren't consulted properly and constitutional rights are at stake. Should Indigenous leaders have gotten an invite to that Ottawa meeting today?

Premier Notley says Alberta and the federal government are in talks with Kinder Morgan to offer the company financial support if that's what it takes to get the pipeline built. What do you think of risks of using public money for private infrastructure?   

If Canada doesn't use pipelines to move oil, how should it be done safely and efficiently? Should — as Premier Horgan suggests — more refineries be built rather than pipelines? Or as environmentalists assert, is it time to move beyond fossil fuels and ramp up investment in renewable energy? 

Our question today: Who should have the final say on approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline — the feds or the provinces?

Guests

Vassy  Kapelos, host of Power and Politics on CBC News Network

Darrell Bricker, pollster who is CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs. Author of five national bestsellers including The Big Shift: The Seismic Change In Canadian Politics , Business, And Culture And What It Means For Our Future

Merle Alexander, practices Indigenous Resource Law as partner at Miller Titerle Company based in Vancouver

Trevor Tombe, Associate professor of economics, University of Calgary

Kathryn Harrison, Professor of Political Science at UBC. Author of the book Passing the Buck: Federalism and Canadian Environmental Policy.

The live online chat: 

What we're reading:

CBC.ca

The Globe and Mail

Maclean's 

Vancouver Sun

Times Colonist

Calgary Herald

Edmonton Journal

Policy Options

Ipsos Poll