BCBC on Premier Horgan's "Crisis of Confidence"

April 9, 2018

Business and investor confidence shaken as a result of his government's stand on the legally approved Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project

(Vancouver, BC) - In response to the announcement from Kinder Morgan of their intention to suspend all non-essential spending on the federally and provincially approved pipeline expansion project, the Business Council of British Columbia is calling on Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau to immediately meet and demonstrate the leadership expected by Canadians to end this crisis of confidence for investment, the rule of law and the federation.
"This is no longer about a pipeline project or whether one supports or opposes the legal movement of energy in Canada, which all Canadians and our economy rely on," stated Greg D'Avignon, President and CEO of the Business Council of B.C. "Provoked by the B.C. government's continued position, this is a referendum on whether British Columbia is open to investment and whether a legal enterprise can, with any confidence, invest, build and operate a business within the province and the country."

Continued D'Avignon: "The B.C. government's decision to prolong a process that rendered a verdict two years ago and move the regulatory finish line by imposing new barriers that would undercut its potential, threatens the credibility of our country's regulatory and project approvals systems and, by extension, the foundation of our federation.

"The political rhetoric must stop now. B.C. and the federal government need to come together quickly to enforce the rule of law. We are calling on the federal and provincial governments to meet and resolve this matter and move past the political gamesmanship we have witnessed for the last number of months.

"Either B.C. and Canada are places in which you can invest with confidence, knowing the rules won't change after the fact regardless of whether you are a pipeline project or small business owner, or they are not. The actions of Premier Horgan's government, and the inability of the federal government to resolve this matter, signal to international and local investors that they can have only limited confidence in government decision making processes in our country.

"This decision will also directly impact British Columbian families whose livelihoods depend upon well-paying jobs in the construction and energy sectors. It puts at risk over 45 First Nations' ability to more fully participate in the economy and erodes collaboration across our federation on everything from the sustainable funding of transit and daycare to infrastructure development.

"To be clear: no one wants to see any form of spill that impacts British Columbia's environment. The multiple reviews and analyses of this project focused on spill response and prevention, which resulted in the project's approval subject to 194 conditions coupled with the comprehensive federal Oceans Protection Plan. Enough is enough. It is past time to move forward with this important project."

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Greg D'Avignon can be available for media interviews by contacting Cheryl Maitland Muir at 604-812-5965.

About the Business Council of British Columbia

Now in its 52nd year as the premier business organization in British Columbia, the Business Council of B.C. is a non-partisan organization made up of 250 leading companies, post-secondary institutions and industry associations from across B.C.'s diverse economy. The Council produces exceptional public policy research and advocacy in support of creating a competitive economy for the benefit of all British Columbians.

Cheryl Maitland Muir
cheryl.muir [at] bcbc.com

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