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NEWS RELEASE: Horgan’s Reckless Approach to Pipeline to Cost Taxpayers Billions

BURNABY – Today’s announcement that the federal government will purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project will save the vital pipeline and thousands of jobs that come with it, but it highlights how damaging the actions of Premier John Horgan and the B.C. NDP Government have been to Canada, said the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) today.

“This really is a sad day for Canada, and Premier Horgan is squarely to blame,” said Chris Gardner, president of ICBA. “In less than a year on the job, John Horgan has ripped-up the approval of the Trans Mountain project; created a constitutional crisis; started a trade war with B.C.’s closest neighbour; sent a chilling message to investors that Canada does not respect the rule of law; and forced Ottawa to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to build a project that the private sector was more than willing to deliver.”

ICBA has long supported the Trans Mountain project and the 15,000 construction jobs it will create. ICBA’s #Get2Yes campaign in the past five weeks generated nearly 4,000 emails of support for the pipeline and has strongly supported the #ConfidenceInCanada coalition.

“John Horgan has forced Canada to nationalize a project that a private company was willing to build,” said Jordan Bateman, ICBA communications director. “Kinder Morgan did everything right – years of consultation, deals with every First Nation along its route, securing every regulatory and government approval required in BC and Canada, winning 16 straight court victories, and building strong majority support in B.C. But none of this was good enough for a premier who, irresponsible in the pursuit of power, only cares about holding on to the Green Party’s three votes in the Legislature.”

Today’s decision reinforces the difficulty private companies are having in navigating Canada’s exceedingly complex regulatory processes and professional protestors.

“It’s hard to imagine proponents of major infrastructure and responsible resource development projects taking any comfort from today’s announcement,” said Gardner. “Investment is fleeing Canada and commentators are saying ‘Canada is a laughing stock’ – this will simply accelerate that capital flight, taking with it opportunity, talent and jobs for Canadians.”

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.