HALIFAX (NEWS1130) – British Columbia has the land, Alberta has the oil, and Premier Christy Clark says the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline will not be built unless our province gets a larger share of economic benefits.

But that demand has been soundly rejected by Alberta’s Alison Redford.

After meeting with Alberta’s premier at the Council of the Federation meeting in Halifax, Christy Clark says BC is not asking for more than its “fair share”, but the current cost-benefit doesn’t add up between Alberta and BC.

BC is due to receive just under $7-billion in tax revenues if the $6-billion project is approved.  The federal government would take in $36-billion while Alberta would receive $32-billion.

“We’ve all got to sit down at the table,” says Clark.  “It will be hard, but we have to have a really honest conversation about how British Columbia is going to balance the risks with the benefits because if we get eight per cent of the benefits and we’re 100 per cent of the risk of a marine spill, that is not fair, and the other provinces are going to have to figure out how to share.”

Premier Alison Redford says she’s disappointed in Clark’s stance and is rejecting the demand for more money for BC.  

“We will not share royalties and I’ve seen nothing else proposed and would not be prepared to consider anything else at this time,” says Redford.  “That means every single time that you have an economic project or a commercial project, there has to be a new negotiation of the balance sheet.”
BC’s demand for a larger share of oil revenue is one of five demands the province has presented that it says must be met before it considers approving the project, which already has the support of the Prime Minister and the Alberta government.

BC wants world-class oil spill prevention and cleanup measures on land and water, First Nations’ rights and participation secured and the project must receive environmental approval.
“And we’re saying to the federal government, we have to have the best environmental protection in the world if we’re going to be moving what is a really difficult product across British Columbia,” adds Clark.  “That’s the bottom line.”

As for the possibility the federal cabinet may approve the pipeline even if BC rejects it, Clark says no.

“No one in their right mind would think that this project could go ahead in British Columbia without the consent of the province.  It’s just not going to happen.”