Photo: Alberta Premier Racheal Notley (Left) and B.C Premier John Horgan (Right)
The issue between British Columbia and Alberta pertaining to a pipeline expansion has evolved into a very heated conflict between the two provinces interests. These conflicting issues are over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (Walkom, 2018). The expansion would drastically increase the amount of tar sand oil transports on the Pacific Coast. The British Columbia Premier, John Horgan expressed his sentiments of not wanting the pipeline to be built while the Alberta Premier, Racheal Notley would like the opposite and for the expansion to occur (Walkom, 2018). To Notley, the expansion will help in promoting a highly competitive oil industry (Walkom, 2018). Horgan, on the other hand, would like to stop this expansion due to the political dynamics of the province. Considering that the province’s minority NDP government, Horgan needs the Green party’s support to remain in power, which includes protecting their anti-pipeline demands (Walkom, 2018).
This pipeline conflict, however grew to become more complex when B.C announced the proposal of restrictions to be placed on bitumen shipments to pipelines from Alberta (Seskus, 2018). Announcement of these restrictions resulted in frustrated threats from Alberta for economic and import retaliations and lawsuits due to the province’s view that B.C has no constitutional authority to create such restrictions (Seskus, 2018).
The federal government, however has been in support of the pipelines expansion, with Trudeau even considering the expansion as both a great economic incentive and still a commitment to climate change as long as those constructing it have a commitment to reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change (Walkom, 2018). However, to those opposed to the project, the promised economic growths are not worth the potential environmental repercussions of oil spills, leaks, and dangerous emission releases. These extreme differentiating views is what is making policy compromises on this issue very difficult to create.
Compromises like these is what the federal government has been working towards to both ease the mind of those with both economic and environmental priority incentives. However, the problem with this is that both these concerns are not equally detrimental. Since the federal government’s role holds the most authority over this matter, it needs to take a hard stance and acknowledge that if they want their claims of combating climate change to be true, they must take the economic and even political consequences which might follow.
Walkom, T. (2018, February 02). B.C pipeline faceoff underscores Justin Trudeau’s climate-change contradictions. Retrieved February 11, 2018, from https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/02/02/bc-pipeline-faceoff-underscores-justin-trudeaus-climate-change-contradictions.html
Seskus, T. (2018, February 08). Oil, water and wine: Escalating Alberta-B.C. fued threatens future of Trans Mountain pipeline. Retrived February 11, 2018, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/pipeline-notley-horgan-1.4519530