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

Fires highlight need for more volunteers

Short-staffed volunteer fire departments in Elk Valley, South Country rely on mutual aid

Motorcyclist grateful to be alive, thanks fellow drivers

Over a dozen people stopped to assist Lori Hann after she tumbled off her bike on Hwy 3, Saturday

Local athletes ready for BC Summer Games

Twenty-four athletes from the Elk Valley and South Country will compete at the 2018 BC Summer Games.

GearHub staff staying positive after fire

Sporting goods store to fully reopen by end of July

UPDATE: New lead narrows the search for Serval cat

UPDATE, July 17: A new lead has narrowed the search for Aquila… Continue reading

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

The Free Press editor wins awards

Editor Phil McLachlan has been recognized at the 2018 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards.

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

B.C. tent city camper arrested for taking coins from fountain

The man, who built a shelter at a Saanich park, says homeless people are unfairly targeted

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

David Andison said to let smaller fires go, to create pockets in the landscape for new forests

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

Most Read