Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun speaks to news conference in Vancouver Thursday. (Facebook)

Business groups gather for action on Trans Mountain pipeline

Vancouver event brings together, forest, mining, petroleum leaders

Small business, forestry, mining and other business leaders spoke in Vancouver Thursday to urge the federal government to save the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The group is laying out a strategy to mobilize public support for the project, concerned about Canada’s reputation as a safe place to invest.

Participants include Greg D’Avignon, president of the B.C. Business Council, Susan Yurkovich, president of the Council of Forest Industries, Bryan Cox, president of the Mining association of B.C., Laura Jones, vice president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

D’Avignon said there has been a wave of concern since Kinder Morgan Canada announced Sunday it was suspending non-essential spending on twinning the Trans Mountain pipeline, which has carried crude oil and refined fuels to the B.C. coast and Washington state since the 1950s.

He said the discussion is more than an argument about the environment versus the economy, as “corrosive and self-serving behaviour” by the B.C. government threatens the national economy.

RELATED: Ocean protection plan on hold with pipeline

“It is a moment in time that the global and local business investors are watching,” D’Avignon said. “It’s about stability, faith in democracy, the rule of law and confidence in our country.”

The event comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arranged a meeting in Ottawa Sunday with B.C. Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Trudeau and federal ministers have repeatedly said B.C. has no grounds to continue opposition to the project, a fact confirmed in the B.C. legislature this week by Environment Minister George Heyman.

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun represents the municipality with the longest section of the pipeline running through it. He said the protests against the project are not the path to a better regulatory system in Canada.

Yurkovich said the forest industry represents one in 17 B.C. jobs, in an industry that depends on investor certainty to develop technology and international trade.

“We believe the impasse over the Trans Mountain project has shaken this faith,” Yurkovich said.

“What Premier Horgan is effectively doing is ripping up a contract,” said Chris Gardner, president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association. “The energy sector in this country is on its knees.”

After the cancellation of the Northern Gateway and Energy East pipeline projects, Gardner noted that the CEO of the Royal Bank has warned that investment is fleeing Canada.

Just Posted

Surrey Memorial patients receive gifts from hospital staff

‘What Matters to You’ wish campaign received $5,000 in funding for project

Dirty chapter of Surrey history detailed in book about Bridgeview’s sewage woes in ’70s

Surrey-raised author’s ‘Mudflat Dreaming’ chronicles Vander Zalm-era debates, and beyond

Surrey LRT decision ‘really sets White Rock back’: mayor

Walker says his focus now is making sure residents can access transit network

OUR VIEW: Elford’s support of budget surprising, considering his history in Surrey

The Doug Elford we knew as an advocate would have opposed budget that doesn’t hire more officers

Clayton townhouse projects sent back to staff over school capacity concerns

‘We’re really stressing out the school systems here’ says Surrey Councillor Steven Pettigrew

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey, Langley and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Surrey boy’s birthday wish raises $13,500 for rescued farm animals

Matthew Farden received a large donation from the mister Blake Foundation towards a sanctuary farm.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

Emergency task force calls for safe supply of drugs in Vancouver to prevent ODs

Dr. Patricia Daly says more people are dying alone in the city than elsewhere in the province

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

New B.C. Lions coach DeVone Claybrooks adds eight to coaching staff

DeVone Claybrooks has filled out his staff for the 2019 season

Most Read