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OPEN LETTER: Business Organizations Ask Premier to Reconsider Pipeline Actions

The following open letter was sent today to Premier John Horgan by five key B.C. business organizations: ICBA, The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Business Council of British Columbia, and the BC Chamber of Commerce. PDF version HERE.

Dear Premier Horgan and Cabinet,

We are writing to express our deep concern regarding your government’s opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.

Regardless of one’s personal views on the pipeline, it has been given a green-light to proceed by both the National Energy Board (NEB), and the federal cabinet. The former BC government also explicitly approved the project following significant deliberation and debate.

The pipeline proponent went through a four- year process of consultation and rigorous regulatory review and is meeting 157 federal conditions as well as 37 additional provincial conditions. Many of these requirements were crafted to ensure the highest possible level of environmental protection and operate separately from the $1.5 billion commitment by the Trudeau government to protect coast lines, including a $500 million commitment to BC. Now the rule of law must be respected, and the expansion of the pipeline must be allowed to proceed. Failing to do so, in practice or in spirit, by creating additional delays and uncertainty, is clearly not in the best interests of British Columbia or Canada.

Failing to respect the rule of law and the largely federal jurisdiction over this project is not only deeply unfair to the stakeholders who respected the process, but also represents a fundamental departure from what it means for BC to be part of Canada.  The stakes are high.  Many small business owners, construction workers, people who support their families in manufacturing, and First Nations are now caught in the crossfire as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the project’s future and the retaliatory trade actions of the Alberta Government.  To achieve many of the priorities of your government, from creating good paying jobs, to easing affordability concerns, to spending more on housing, education and healthcare, the province needs the investment and revenue that will flow from this $7.4 billion investment in our economy.

We are concerned that if a resolution is not found quickly, British Columbians, already facing the prospects of Alberta stopping negotiations to purchase our hydro power and banning the sale of BC wine, will be hurt by additional retaliatory action from Alberta. Not finding a resolution quickly creates further risks including expensive lawsuits, and large companies going elsewhere to invest their dollars, create jobs and attract talent.

Like most British Columbians, we believe that economic growth and environmental protection can and do go together, a view reiterated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It might interest you to know that a recent poll of small business owners— major employers and drivers of economic growth —shows strong support for the project (see attached chart). Many of these businesses will provide goods and services to support this project, from welding supplies and construction materials to hotel rooms, restaurant meals and haircuts which, in turn, will provide thousands of hard-working British Columbians with good-paying jobs to support their families and their communities.

We urge you and your government to stop its opposition to this approved project before we do further damage to the province’s reputation as one that is open for business or, worse, causes a provincial trade war that inflicts lasting damage on the relationship between BC and Alberta.  It’s now time to put shovels in the ground.

Sincerely,

Laura Jones, CFIB
Chris Gardner, ICBA
Andrew Wynn-Williams, CME
Greg D’Avignon, BCBC
Val Litwin, BC C of C

Comments

Robert in Vancouver
Reply

It’s a good letter that tells the truth. But truth doesn’t matter to members of the Climate Change Religion which Premier Horgan and his party has joined. I’ll probably be locked up or burned at the stake for saying this.

Doug
Reply

Doug in Nanimo

its high time that polititions be held legally responsible for obstruction of Federal Law.

Rowena
Reply

The letter says it all. I have not met or spoken to a single person that supports further delay to this project. Further, as a resident of B.C. supporting our own industries impacted by the trade blocks imposed by NDP, AB – I also support Alberta and the actions taken in defense of their need to move their product through a project that has in fact been approved.
Finally, the majority of hard working people in this province of BC are sick and tired of a few paid protesters negating the potential growth and wealth of this province while the rest of us are busy at work or looking for work, trusting that our government will make the right decisions on our behalf only to find out that those protesters are usually the ones being listened to.
We are here. We are watching and you will hear us in our next vote.

Anita Everett
Reply

A recent poll showed that 86% of BC citizens support the pipe line. Mr. Horgan, you do not speak for the majority of your citizens. Is your futile stance simply a delaying tactic, a stop-gap measure to calm Weaver? Please do your job and enforce the legalities of this issue.

Rob Compton
Reply

This is aproved

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