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NEWS RELEASE – Canadian Economy Hangs On Future of Pipeline: ICBA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must act immediately to get the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project built, a project that was approved 18 months ago, says the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA). ICBA is floored by today’s news that Kinder Morgan is close to pulling the plug on this vital national project because of the interference of the B.C. Government.

“By strangling Trans Mountain, the B.C. NDP Government would throw away $5.7 billion in provincial tax revenue, $1 billion in municipal tax revenue, and the opportunities that come with 15,000 construction jobs and 189,000 person-years of employment,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA president. “This decision will send a simple chilling message to businesses looking to start or expand major projects here – stay away from B.C. because you cannot rely on the government to honour its commitments or follow the law.”

Trans Mountain pipeline was approved two years ago after a 29-month long process and had 194 environmental and legal conditions attached that Kinder Morgan has to meet during the construction and operation of the pipeline. But the deliberate and unfair interference of the B.C. NDP and Burnaby city governments saw the province and city hall actively engage in activities designed to deliberately terminate the project.

“Once this project was approved by the federal government after an exhaustive review process, the provincial NDP government and Burnaby city hall were required to act in good faith, and to process permits properly – a message reinforced by court decisions,” said Gardner. “If this project fails because of their illegal maneuvering, it would be a crushing blow to Canada’s oil and gas sector and the repercussions for Canada’s economy would be irreparable.”

“The impact would be felt in communities across not only B.C. but also Western Canada – no Trans Mountain royalties, no Trans Mountain jobs, and no investment in training and new technology that comes along with a $7.4 billion investment in our economy.”

“The province and the city of Burnaby have not acted fairly and have given no thought to the national interest. In fact, the opposite has occurred, Premier Horgan has started a trade war with Alberta and brought into question what it means for a province to be part of this great country.”

The energy sector in Canada directly employs over 425,000 men and women and is the single largest source of private sector investment in the country. Yet the companies like Kinder Morgan, which are investing, or planning to invest, billions of dollars in our economy are vilified at nearly every turn.

“Canada’s energy sector is being hollowed out – Canada is losing investment, jobs and talent. Capital that should be committed to projects in Canada is instead being deployed in other jurisdictions providing opportunities and growth for our competitors.”

ICBA has been a strong supporter of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project through its #Get2Yes platform. It is concerned that everyday British Columbians – including the nearly 50,000 who work with ICBA-affiliated companies – will be hurt by this decision.

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