Christy Clark announcing five conditions were met by federal government in January 2017. (Black Press Media files)

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark criticizes feds for buying pipeline

The $4.5 billion purchase of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline second worst decision, she said

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark says the Trudeau government made the “second worst solution” possible when it bought the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan.

“The worst would have been nothing, so at least there is a solution,” she told David Herle on his podcast Herle Burly earlier this week.

“But I think having government build a pipeline, when government can’t even figure out how to pay its own employees, is probably not going to be the most certain outcome,” she said.

READ MORE: Minister opens federal pay centre, says troubled Phoenix system improving

The federal Liberals have been criticized by both sides of the pipeline debate for agreeing to fork over $4.5-billion for the project, which will twin the current pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby.

“The best outcome would have been to get the approvals done, to stand strong in the face of the many foreign-funded environmental groups and to say, ‘No, we are getting this done and we are going to stand by it and be tough about it and we are going to do it fast,’” Clark said.

“Everybody saw this storm coming, and everybody talked about it, but it all kind of got left to the end when Kinder Morgan threw up their hands and said, ‘We are out of here.’”

Clark’s government approved the contentious project in January 2017, after the feds met B.C.’s five conditions, including having a marine and oil response plan, environmental reviews and First Nations consultation.

Now, the NDP government is in a legal battle over whether it can restrict the transport of bitumen in the province.

Meanwhile, protests have been going on outside the Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby for months, leading to arrests and jail time for dozens.

READ MORE: B.C. grandma, 70, gets 7 days in jail for pipeline protest

“You will always have opponents,” Clark said, adding that many people believe environmental groups in Canada receive foreign funding for their demonstrations.

“As long as our competitors in Russia, Qatar and the United States don’t want our oil to market, there will always be people who can find work opposing what we do.”

Clark added that if Russia colluded in the U.S. election, in favour of President Donald Trump, it can’t be so hard to believe they and the U.S. are interfering with B.C.’s abilities to get resources to market as direct competitors.

Instead, getting community support, respecting Indigenous rights and “giving them a piece of the pie” should be enough, she said.

“It’s folly to think you are going to get 100 per cent of the support, because you never, ever will.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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