It seems that the dust simply won’t settle around the Kinder Morgan Pipeline dispute, with it most recently being stirred up by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, as he voiced some strong opinions about BC Premier John Horgan.
Horgan’s government has launched a court case to discover if they have the right to restrict the amount of bitumen that flows to BC’s shores, a case that, if won by BC, would ultimately stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Project.
The opposition from BC has put the project in jeopardy, as Kinder Morgan suspended all non-essential spending last month — setting a May 31 deadline for the decision to continue with the project or scrap it entirely.
Nenshi was asked about the issue on Friday and had some choice words to say about the situation to a CBC reporter.
“Mr. Horgan, who I think is one of the worst politicians that we’ve seen in Canada in decades, appeals to populism in a way that is not based on fact,” Nenshi said, as heard in an audio clip uploaded by CBC.
Nenshi went on to talk about an article written by Horgan for Medium, in which the premier describes the scene of a diesel fuel spill near Bella Bella.
“The diesel slick was everywhere you looked, and the smell from the fumes was overwhelming,” Horgan had written.
“From our small boat, we watched the waves push diesel over clam beds that had been harvested by the Heiltsuk for centuries.”
Nenshi stated that the bitumen transported from the newly built pipeline is much different from diesel fuel tanks.
“I wonder if [Horgan] understands that every single vessel that goes through every single coastal water in British Columbia has a gas tank, and that tank has diesel in it, and it’s single-hulled,” Nenshi said on Friday. “Unless he’s planning on stopping every single boat from going through the water, diesel spills have nothing to do with what we’re talking about here.”
Horgan’s provincial government launched a reference case with the BC Court of Appeal on April 26, asking if it has the ability to introduce an amendment that would give BC the right to strengthen its regulations on heavy oil.
Nenshi clearly wasn’t convinced that Horgan has a chance in court.
“Horgan knows that he’s not going to win in court, he knows that he’s not going to win the plight of public opinion, he’s hoping to scare away the investors,” he said.
“If the federal and provincial governments have to backstop that in order to not scare away the investors, then that has to happen.”
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has already expressed her government’s plans to invest in the pipeline if it comes down to it.
“Alberta is prepared to do whatever it takes to get this pipeline built – including taking a public position in the pipeline. Alberta is prepared to be an investor in the pipeline,” Notley said in a statement following Kinder Morgan’s announcement that they would be suspending spending.
“Let me be clear: At the end of the day, my job is to stand up for Alberta, and to stand up for Alberta there is one and only one solution, and the solution is that the pipeline gets built without delay.”