LANGFORD, B.C. _ The premiers of British Columbia and Alberta will join their counterparts from Western Canada at a meeting next week, but John Horgan doesn’t expect any drama over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
Horgan says proposals will be made about a national pharmacare program because the provinces have always led the way on cost savings for prescription drugs and he wants B.C. to be at the forefront of the issue.
While acknowledging he and Alberta’s Rachel Notley have differences on the pipeline, he says they are in agreement on a number of other matters and they have been friends for 20 years.
On Thursday, British Columbia announced plans to launch a lawsuit over new Alberta legislation that could restrict fuel exports to the West Coast.
B.C. Attorney General David Eby said his province will ask the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta to declare the legislation unconstitutional on the grounds that one province cannot punish another.
Plans to triple capacity along Kinder Morgan’s existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby have pitted Alberta and the federal government against B.C.’s government, which says the risk of a spill is too great for the province’s environment and economy.
B.C. filed a reference case in the province’s Court of Appeal last month to determine if it has jurisdiction to regulate heavy oil shipments. It also joined two other lawsuits launched by Indigenous groups opposed to the $7.4-billion project.
Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the project until it receives assurances it can proceed on the Trans Mountain expansion project without delays, setting a May 31 deadline on getting those guarantees.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday the federal government is prepared to offer an “indemnity” to help ease the political risks for any investors to ensure the pipeline expansion can proceed.