Issue Update: Kinder Morgan, Trans Mountain Pipeline, Bitumen regulation – February 2018

Thank you for writing to me about Kinder Morgan and the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

You may have heard recent news about my colleague Minister George Heyman’s announcement to consult with scientists and British Columbians about possible regulations to protect British Columbia’s cost in relation to the proposal to increase sevenfold the number of bitumen oil tankers off the shore of our local beaches. In response, the Province of Alberta has said they will refuse to buy BC wine to distribute to their provincial retail stores. This is obviously a challenging and difficult issue for our two provinces.

Our government was elected with a commitment to protect British Columbians’ interests in relation to spill risk due to escalated oil tanker traffic. We’re doing what we promised to do, and Minister Heyman’s consultation is a legal and constitutional part of that work.

If you’re interested in a high level of constitutional analysis of the constitutional issue that is being discussed, you might find this recent analysis by a law professor in the Globe and Mail informative.

Keep in mind that there are three lawsuits underway that challenge various aspects of the federal environmental assessment on this project. Decisions in these matters are likely, but not guaranteed, to arrive this spring.

David Eby, MLA