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

Barry Marchi’s spirits high as treatment in Seattle continues

Barry Marchi’s spirits are high as he continues treatment in the United… Continue reading

PHOTOS: 2019 Wapiti Music Festival

With eyes to the stage and hands to the sky the crowd… Continue reading

New art gallery opens downtown Fernie

Two local artists, Tara Higgins and Kerri Holmes have joined forces to open H2 Studio Gallery

Search continues for new leads in Mt. Bisaro cave system

Cavers returning October, November to push new leads, extend Canada’s deepest cave near Fernie

Wildfire update in the Southeast Fire Centre

No fires currently pose a threat to structures or communities, says BC Wildfire Service

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read