Business groups demand federal government resolve pipeline dispute

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Image via Living Oceans Society.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to meet with Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley over the weekend, in an attempt to work out the Kinder Morgan pipeline dispute.

But for a number of business groups, that’s just not enough.

Speaking in Vancouver this morning, Greg D’avignon, President and CEO of the Business Council of BC, says the stalling of the project has investors and business owners feeling wary.

“We ask, and make no mistake, require that they use every tool necessary and in their disposal including if they require the expansion of the 1.5-billion-dollar Oceans Protection Plan to provide the leadership necessary to re-establish our confidence in Canada. And most importantly ensure that confidence remains not just on pipelines, but across our entire economy if we are to succeed and prosper as a nation.”

More than 70 business, industry and community groups have signed a joint letter calling for the Trans Mountain Pipeline dispute to be resolved.

Val Litwin, President and CEO of the BC Chambers of Commerce, says if the federally and provincially approved pipeline doesn’t go ahead, it will mean disaster for Canada’s economy.

“Today we find ourselves at an impasse and the implications are seismic. If we cant’ build this project, it will show the world that government approvals and rule of law count for nothing in Canada and we can not let this happen. Make no mistake, if this pipeline can’t move forward it will have broad implications for resource development in BC and in Canada and investment in general. So, it is time to restore confidence in this project and it is time to restore confidence in Canada.”

He adds the uncertainty surrounding the project means investors are second guessing putting any more of their money towards projects in this province.

“Our investors are wondering if Canada¬†and BC is still a sound place to invest. They are concerned our reputation as a top-tier market to do business in is being eroded and they wonder if federally approved projects deemed to be in the national interest can really get built. In short, there is a crisis in confidence. The BC Chamber has supported the Trans Mountain expansion since day one and our support continues to this day.”

Earlier this week, Kinder Morgan announced they would be suspending all non-essential spending on the project, prompting Premier Notley to suggest her government will invest in the pipeline.

On Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be meeting with the duelling premiers, and attempt to get the pipeline moving forward. Via social media, Premier Horgan says he will be there to ‘represent BC, our coast and the economy’.