BURNABY – British Columbia’s referral of questions surrounding the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is nothing more than a desperate Hail Mary attempt to delay and ultimately kill the project, said the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association today.

“B.C.’s concerns over this project were fully heard and addressed during an exhaustive 4-year review process,” said Chris Gardner, president of ICBA. “That’s why the pipeline must meet 194 conditions set out by federal and provincial regulators, why $1.5 billion has been allocated for ocean protection measures, and why 43 First Nations support this project. This project was approved nearly two years ago, but the B.C. Government refuses to allow it to go ahead, costing British Columbians the jobs and opportunities that will flow from this investment.”

The $7.4 billion Trans Mountain project will generate $5.7 billion in revenue for the provincial government, and an additional $922 million in municipal property taxes. More than 15,000 construction jobs would be created and there will be investments in energy innovations and training for people working on the project.

Gardner dismissed Premier Horgan’s claim that the government is “protecting British Columbians,” noting that, as polls recently confirmed, the majority of B.C. residents support the Trans Mountain project. “If Premier Horgan was truly interested in standing up for British Columbia, he’d get out of the way of this historic investment and job-creating project,” said Gardner. “The only thing he’s protecting right now is his premiership, pandering to the BC Green Party that is propping up his administration.”

The B.C. Government’s activist-driven agenda against Kinder Morgan is sending chills through the investment community across Canada and beyond our borders.

“Investors – the companies that provide jobs, build infrastructure and create opportunities for Canadians – are losing confidence in Canada’s ability to ‘Get to yes’ and ‘Stick to yes’ on significant projects,” said Gardner. “Already, we are seeing investors go elsewhere with their dollars, and our economy could take years to recover from the damage being caused by the uncertainty that comes with governments refusing to establish clear rules. By continuing to change the rules and move the goal posts, the only thing the NDP government is going to end up with are lost opportunities for our province.”