B.C. premier acting unconstitutionally in Kinder Morgan pipeline dispute, says Morneau

May 16, 2018 | News

By Ryan

Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau takes part in a news conference about the state of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion in Ottawa, on Wednesday  May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Ryan Brockerville

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday that B.C. Premier John Horgan is putting thousands of Canadian jobs at risk and acting unconstitutionally.

Morneau provided Canadians with a morning update regarding the ongoing Trans Mountain Pipeline Project negotiations with Kinder Morgan.

Morneau spoke to a small group of media in Ottawa. The press conference comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced tough questions Tuesday about the project in Alberta.

The pipeline project that has been approved by both federal and provincial governments has faced delays due to protests and concerns about the project’s environmental risks. Most recently there have been protests because of Horgan’s calls to cancel the project.

“Horgan is acting in bad faith,” said Morneau. The finance minister used the press conference to blame Horgan for delays to the project. “Horgan is acting unconstitutionally,” said Morneau.

He also said the Canadian government will compensate Kinder Morgan for costs associated with any delays.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau updates Canadians on the on going Trans Mountain Pipeline negotiations with Kinder Morgan. 

Owing to delays and concerns, Kinder Morgan has given the Canadian government a deadline for negotiations. Kinder Morgan is an infrastructure company specializing in oil and gas pipelines based out of Houston, Texas.

It has said that if a deal is not completed by May 31 then it will be pulling out the project.

Morneau used his press conference to respond to Kinder Morgans deadline, as well.

“Should Kinder Morgan not wish to continue, we feel that there are other private sector actors who would,” said Morneau.

The Trudeau government does not expect a private corporation like Kinder Morgan to handle disputes between governments, said Morneau.

“As a government we need to ensure that the rule of law is respected and that investors have the certainty needed to complete the Trans Mountain expansion project because it’s in the national interest to do so,” said Morneau.

Alberta Conservative MP Michelle Rempel took to Twitter to respond.

Rempel went on to question much of Morneau’s comments and the moves by the federal Liberals. “[Justin] Trudeau is gambling away hundreds of thousands of Canadian jobs,” said Rempel.

She said the federal government’s unwillingness to enforce its jurisdiction will affect more than just the Transmountain project and will have negative effects on foreign investment.

Also on Wednesday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley referred in a Tweet to the Kinder Morgan issue, talking about the importance of both jobs and protecting the environment.