Calling it a “critical project that should have been built and owned by the private sector,” BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson called Premier John Horgan’s stance on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project a “historic blunder.”
British Columbians and all Canadians “will now be paying for the construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project,” he said in a statement. “This unprecedented action taken by the federal government is entirely a consequence of the actions of John Horgan.”
Horgan, he added, “picked a fight with Alberta and provoked a constitutional crisis with Ottawa over this project and this is now the embarrassing result. The lack of leadership on this issue is now fully evident.”
Wilkinson charged that the BC NDP continues “to play politics with British Columbia’s future, and this time it will cost us billions.”
The Premier, he added, “has failed in everything he set out to do – the pipeline will proceed, but at taxpayers’ expense. Relations with Ottawa, Alberta, and the business community have been severely damaged. The NDP are proving to be a reckless government and they have accomplished nothing at all on the pipeline issue.”
During a Tuesday morning press conference, Horgan said the federal government’s decision to purchase the pipeline project at a cost of $4.5 billion does not change his government’s courses of action.
“I will continue to do my best to protect BC’s interests by ensuring that our coast, our water, and our land is kept pristine so that our economy can continue to grow,” he said. “I believe it is appropriate for us to continue down that road.”
With the pipeline now under federal control, Horgan was asked about where his government challenge goes from here.
He clarified that his government’s reference case does not “speak to a specific project,” but rather, it speaks to “the transportation of diluted bitumen through BC by rail or pipe.”