VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – More than 70 business groups — many of them based here in BC — are warning there will be economic consequences for our province and country if the Trans Mountain pipeline doesn’t go ahead.
Business Council of BC Chief Executive Greg D’Avignon says investors will take their money elsewhere.
“We need leadership right now on this issue. But it doesn’t stop here. There’s a bigger conversation in Canada going on around ‘How do we make sure that when you legally go through a process that government lay out and you get an approval, that you can move forward?’
“It’s not just a BC phenomenon. It’s a Canadian phenomenon,” says D’Avignon. “And we need to be honest with ourselves: We run the risk in the several years of having a far less livable country and city, if we don’t address these issues. We just won’t have the resources and the talent to be able to continue the prosperity we’ve enjoyed.”
The groups have signed a letter urging the prime minister and the premiers of Alberta and BC to find a way for the project to go ahead.
That letter has been brought up in Question Period today in the Legislature. A persistent opposition has been trying to get the province to admit it may not have the power to stop the pipeline.
Liberal MLA Shirley Bond took on Deputy Premier Carole James in a feisty exchange:
“Job creators are demanding the premier fix his mess. He has the chance to do that when he meets with the prime minister. Will the deputy premier commit today to listening to the voices of thousands of British Columbians [and] tell the prime minister that they will end their attempts to stop this project?” Bond asked.
“Honourable speaker, if I was part of the other side, I certainly wouldn’t be talking about listening to British Columbians because it’s not anything they have experience with or that they did for 16 years,” James responded.
James went on to boast about what she describes as BC’s strong economy and low unemployment. Premier John Horgan is not in the legislature today, attending a funeral.
In a news release, BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says he is “relieved” that Sunday’s meeting is going to happen.
“After months of showing no real leadership on the issue, I hope the Premier comes to his senses and puts BC jobs and prosperity before self-serving politics,” he says.
“The Premier has put affordability and prosperity at risk for middle-class British Columbians,” he argues. “We could see gas prices skyrocket or federal funds withheld if Alberta and Ottawa decide to enact further sanctions to enforce the rule of law, which this NDP government has ignored.”