Alberta to restrict oil, gas to neighbor in Canada pipeline row

Trudeau in 'financial' talks to resolve heated pipeline dispute

Brandon Gabriel, a member of the Kwantlen First Nation and a key organizer of several anti-pipeline protests in Langley, argued against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's statement that the pipeline expansion is in the national interest. He asked Finance Minister Bill Morneau to launch a "formal financial discussion" with the company to hedge risk over the project and said he was preparing legislation to underscore federal jurisdiction over the line.

Notley also said financial incentives will help meet the deadline, and the Alberta government will introduce legislation this week that could give powers to curb energy shipments to British Columbia.

"I'm quite confident that should these discussions end successfully, that the pipeline will be built _ and that is good, because the pipeline is in the national interest".

"I don't think we would be in this current situation if the British Columbia government hadn't continued to emphasize its opposition to the project", Trudeau said. "We will not be bought and we will block this pipeline", Will George, Watch House guardian and project leader, said.

Trudeau said he is also willing to discuss with Horgan additional environmental protections that could give B.C. confidence over its shorelines and marine environments, but accused Horgan of refusing to tell him for almost a year what gaps Horgan feels exist in the existing or promised protections under the Oceans Protections Plan. Plus we're going to be left with some sort of a bill.

While the project could allow Alberta to get its landlocked bitumen to markets in Asia and reduce its reliance on the U.S. market, it has encountered opposition in British Columbia over the potential for oil spills and the impact that a dramatic rise in tanker traffic could have on the region's southern resident killer whales, a population already on the knife edge of extinction. His group has called for an agreement to move the project forward. "If they miss a construction season it might make the project too expensive for them to continue". The minister can determine how product is exported, through pipeline, rail or truck.

"That is exactly what we are doing", he said of the Trans Mountain salvage plan.

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Politically, the dispute pits New Democratic Party governments in Alberta and British Columbia against each other.

If maintained at current levels, discounts to Canadian crude caused largely by pipeline bottlenecks could cost producers roughly C$15.6bn a year, Scotiabank said in a report in February.

Alberta's response has been to threaten retaliation, possibly by throttling the flow of oil and refined fuel products to B.C., triggering concerns that both a trade war and constitutional crisis may erupt.

Trudeau said the federal government is moving ahead with financial and legal measures to ensure the Trans Mountain project is built. Horgan and Trudeau agreed to address the gaps in the $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan, and that really is the best B.C.'s premier could have hoped for. Trudeau, who speaks glowingly of his family's ties to Canada's west coast, in February was repeatedly shouted down at a town hall there by pipeline opponents and asked police to remove hecklers.

And that country is Canada.

On the environmental front, Gabriel said not almost enough has been done to mitigate or contain any possible future spills, saying that previous BC Liberal and federal governments had "gutted" environmental protection and disaster response.

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