Former Harper cabinet minister Jason Kenney, running to helm Alberta’s Official Opposition, says he will seek economic repercussions against British Columbia should NDP Premier John Horgan block or significantly delay the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Mr. Kenney, the former immigration minister looking to lead the newly-formed United Conservative Party, said if he wins his party’s leadership and the 2019 provincial election against NDP Premier Rachel Notley, his government “would not respond passively” to Mr. Horgan’s previous promise to use every tool at his disposal to block the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The project would see a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic in the waters off Vancouver.
Mr. Kenney said Mr. Horgan cannot unilaterally veto a regulatory decision made by the federal government and the National Energy Board. Kinder Morgan must still satisfy National Energy Board requirements that it has met scores of conditions that the board recommended and the government accepted when Ottawa granted approval last November. Ms. Notley, too, has pushed for the pipeline to go ahead.
“If the government of British Columbia purposely undermines the rule of law and our ability to safely export products from Alberta, then there will be repercussions,” Mr. Kenney said in an interview. “Trade is a two-way street. And if I were premier and the government of British Columbia were blocking one of our prime exports, we would find ways to respond in kind that would be an economic response.”
When asked for specifics, Mr. Kenney said, “Stay tuned. There’s a great deal that British Columbia depends on that comes from Alberta.