British Columbia Premier John Horgan, left, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee listen to a question during a joint news conference Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Seattle. The two met earlier in the day to discuss regional issues and opportunities for collaboration between B.C. and Washington state. Horgan will give a formal address to the Washington state Legislature on Friday. Inslee addressed the British Columbia legislature in Victoria during a visit November 2017. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Governor says Washington will continue to reject Trans Mountain ‘every way’ it can

John Horgan has said in the past that B.C. would use ‘every tool’ in its toolbox to fight the pipeline expansion

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says his state shares concerns with British Columbia about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and will continue to voice its objections any way it can.

Inslee made the comments at a joint news conference in Seattle on Thursday with B.C. Premier John Horgan, who is visiting the state to discuss partnerships on endangered killer whales, clean energy and high-speed rail.

Asked how Washington could influence the pipeline project, Inslee replied: “Every way that we can under Canadian law.

“We’ve done that so far by our Department of Ecology making a vigorous, robust statement of our concerns. I have exercised my rights as governor to speak publicly and vocally about our concerns about this project.”

His concerns include the increased risk of oil spills and the impact of increased vessel traffic and noise on endangered southern resident killer whales off the coast of B.C. and Washington, he said.

“This (project) does not move us toward a clean energy future,” Inslee added. “For both short and long-term reasons, the state of Washington stands with, I believe, the people of British Columbia expressing concerns about this project.”

The expansion would triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs from near Edmonton to a waterfront terminal in Burnaby, B.C. Canada has purchased the pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion.

The Federal Court of Appeal struck down the project’s approval last August in part because of the National Energy Board’s failure to consider marine shipping impacts. The government ordered the board to conduct a review of this issue and report back by Feb. 22.

Horgan has said that B.C. would use “every tool” in its toolbox to fight the pipeline expansion. He would not explicitly say on Thursday what tools the province has left.

“I’m not answering that question directly in British Columbia, so I would be remiss if I did that today,” he said. “We do have tools available to us.”

The federal government has jurisdiction over inter-provincial pipelines, Horgan said, but the province has filed a reference case in the B.C. Court of Appeal to see if it has jurisdiction to regulate the transport of oil through its territory.

“The challenge is that Alberta is landlocked and it has a resource that it believes it needs to get to market and they’re struggling with that,” he said. “I appreciate those challenges but my obligation is to protect the interests of British Columbia.”

He added the federal government is in a “difficult” position now that it has purchased the pipeline.

Trudeau has said the expansion is in the best interests of all Canadians and his government has committed $1.5 billion to an ocean protection plan that includes millions for research on B.C. killer whale populations.

Horgan also announced Thursday that B.C. will kick in another $300,000 to help fund a study of a potential high-speed transportation service linking B.C., Washington and Oregon, after contributing the same amount last year.

He said he envisions high-speed rail running from Seattle to B.C.’s Lower Mainland, with a terminus in Surrey that would connect to public transportation infrastructure to take riders to Vancouver’s airport, the city’s downtown core and the Fraser Valley.

Inslee added that a preliminary review has shown the rail link could generate 1.8 million riders in the first few years and Washington has contributed over $3 million to the project.

“It’s based on an optimistic vision of the growth that we’re going to have in British Columbia and Washington,” he said. “We are a world-class community across that border.”

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Weekly Mountain Minute

This week’s top news stories:… Continue reading

De Groot family still waiting for inquest after 2014 Slocan shooting

Lawyer for Peter De Groot’s family say many questions remain unanswered

Teepee raising ceremony invites Invermere Chief to Metis Nation Columbia River Society

Some people might notice a new teepee standing tall outside of the… Continue reading

Four-year-old girl one of two killed in highway crash near Creston

The 26-year-old driver of a Saturn SUV was also killed

Community helps Golden’s Fall Faire success

By Colleen Palumbo Well folks it looks as if everything is falling… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Scheer repeats call on RCMP to investigate Trudeau’s actions in SNC affair

Ethics watchdog Mario Dion found that Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act

Maxime Bernier tells party faithful he will make it into the leaders’ debates

The People’s Party of Canada does not meet the current requirements

15-year-old boy drowns after midnight jump into Okanagan Lake

The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the drowning.

Most Read