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

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

Body of ATV rider recovered from bottom of Terrace trail

BC Coroners Service investigating death of man in his 70s

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Most Read