Premiers meet over pipeline
B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s meeting with Alberta Premier Alison Redford Monday lasted only 15 minutes, and didn’t resolve any of their differences about the Enbridge heavy oil pipeline proposal.
Clark spoke by phone with reporters after what she described as a “frosty and quite short” meeting with Redford in Calgary. She said she reiterated her government’s five conditions for supporting the Northern Gateway pipeline, including one about B.C. needing a “fair share” of benefits from the line.
The other four conditions are for the project to pass a federal environmental review, and for “world leading” spill response on land and on water, as well as meeting legal requirements for aboriginal and treaty rights along the route from northern Alberta to Kitimat.
Redford told reporters in Calgary after the meeting that she reiterated her position that giving up any of Alberta’s oil royalties is “a non-starter.” She said she asked Clark to propose other ways that B.C. could increase benefits, but Clark offered no response.
“I gave her the opportunity more than once in the meeting to say that royalties aren’t on the table, and she didn’t take that,” Redford said.
Clark said it’s not her job to find ways of increasing benefits to B.C.
“It is up to whoever is going to benefit from this project to come forward and advocate for it. In my view, that’s her,” Clark said. “I said to her today, as it stands right now, there is absolutely no way that British Columbia will support this proposal.”
As Clark was preparing for her meeting, B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake told a Kamloops radio station that benefits for B.C. could mean more value-added jobs, such as refining the oil.
Enbridge Chief Executive Al Monaco is on record as saying the project is a highly strategic move and will allow Canada to profit from better relations with Asia.
Without the access to the West Coast, he said, Canadian producers are at risk of needing to discount their oil, compared to international benchmarks.
The project would carry an estimated 525,000 barrels of bitument each day from Alberta oilsands.
It would be loaded onto tankers in Kitimat, B.C., where it would be transported to Asian markets.
Environmental groups are angered at the proposal.
With files from the Calgary Herald