The Current

What's at stake if B.C. opposition derails the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline?

Tensions over the Trans Mountain pipeline are back on the agenda, as Kinder Morgan gives Ottawa a date by which to resolve the B.C.-Alberta fight.
The fate of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline could have wide-reaching effects: from national unity to discouraging foreign investment. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

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The Houston-based conglomerate building the Trans Mountain pipeline suspended all non-essential spending on the project on Sunday, citing the objections of the B.C. government.

Kinder Morgan has given Ottawa until May 31 to convince it that the opposition can be contained.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the project is in the national interest, B.C. Premier John Horgan insists that the consultation process was flawed, and provincial jurisdiction should prevail.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has accused B.C. of undermining foreign investment, and threatening economic retaliation against their provincial neighbour.

We spoke to three journalists about what's at stake, from national unity to cold hard cash:

  • Chris Hall, the CBC's National Affairs Editor, said that the government could supercede provincial opposition by legally declaring the pipeline to be in the national interest — but it seems hesitant to do so.
  • Deborah Yedlin, a business columnist with the Calgary Herald, said that losing the pipeline could lead to an investment chill that Canada will not be able to recover from.
  • Vaughn Palmer, the Vancouver Sun's provincial affairs political columnist, argued that a trip to the Supreme court could be just the exit strategy Premier Horgan is looking for.

Listen to the full conversation at the top of this page, where you can also share this article across email, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino and Howard Goldenthal.


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