Jason Kenney says his government would ensure “serious consequences” for British Columbia if it blocks the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Alberta Opposition Leader Jason Kenney says he would stop shipping Alberta oil to BC through the existing Trans Mountain pipeline if the coastal province continues to block expansion plans.
The Alberta United Conservative Party leader made the comments in Vancouver this week, saying there will be “serious consequences” if BC blocks the expansion that would triple the capacity of the pipeline that pumps 300,000 barrels a day of oil, gasoline and other petroleum products from the Edmonton area to Metro Vancouver.
“If British Columbia is unwilling to help us export Canadian energy, then I would ask: Why should the NDP government benefit from shipments from Alberta?” he said during a media event in Vancouver, reported by The Canadian Press.
“People are already paying C$1.50 a litre for their gas here. Thousands of British Columbia drivers are going down to Bellingham and Washington state to fill up their gas tanks. That situation, unfortunately, would get a whole lot worse without Alberta oil.”
Kenney also said he would consider slapping a toll on BC’s natural gas shipments through Alberta.
He compared his stance to that of former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed, who in the early 1980s cut his province’s oil production to punish Eastern Canada over the federal government’s unpopular National Energy Program.
In February, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley banned BC wines in response to the province’s proposal to limit diluted bitumen shipments. But she lifted the ban after BC Premier John Horgan said he would ask the courts to decide whether it can bring in the restrictions.
Notley this week said Alberta is keeping a close eye on Horgan’s government and won’t hesitate to bring back the wine boycott or take other more punitive measures if BC “starts playing more games.”
She said if BC gets court approval to dictate what goes into pipelines, “BC would trigger an internal Canadian trade war that would make what’s going on with the United States today look like a tea party.”
Meanwhile, political rival Kenney said his party stands a good chance of forming a government in an election next year.
“My message to John Horgan is: I may very well be sitting across the table from you in 14 months. And if you’re unable to come to an understanding with your fellow New Democrat Rachel Notley, just wait until you’re sitting across the table from me.”