Braid: Horgan, BC, now faces the problem he created for Alberta



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B.C. Prime Minister John Horgan speaks during an announcement in Surrey on September 4, 2018.

Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS

B.C. Prime Minister John Horgan will sweat on Wednesday. It's a lovely thought.

Its British Columbia NDP, a major obstacle to Alberta's economy, faces an election in Nanaimo.

It is a stronghold of the NDP, but if the liberals win, Horgan's fragile minority alliance with the Greens will be overthrown.

This is just one of your little problems. It has many local and national who do not go away, no matter who wins.

Well, he won them.

The forces that this guy happily released on the Trans Mountain pipeline are now being activated in their own projects.

A United Nations blockade has again halted work on the $ 6.2 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline.

The National Energy Council will also hear a request to conduct a full federal investigation of this project. The province wants to avoid this based on the fact that GasLink is entirely within B.C.

Once these challenges begin, you never know. As Vaughn Palmer, a fellow Vancouver Sun, jokes, "Litigation futures are the only safe way to make money in B.C."

Alberta's natural gas industry favors the LNG project because it is expected to raise prices and open new markets. We should not expect this to fail.

But still, what fun to see Horgan's pet project plunged into the hellfire that he helped inflict on Trans Mountain.

Then there's the $ 9 billion Site C dam project that Horgan allowed to continue, despite fierce environmental opposition.

B.C. Hydro has won 14 direct legal challenges. But the B.C. The Supreme Court is prepared to hear a First Nations case based on violation of treaty rights.

You should remember that Trans Mountain has won 16 lawsuits before being cooled by the Federal Court of Appeals on August 30.

An aerial view of the Trans-Mountain Marine Terminal at Burnaby on May 29, 2018.

Jonathan Hayward /

THE CANADIAN PRESS

These are just the problems that Horgan has at home. In the broader scenario, he faces the prospect of hostile conservative governments from the Rockies to the Quebec border.

If Jason Kenney's UCP wins the Alberta spring election, he will increase the alliances he is building with Doug Ford in Ontario, Brian Pallister in Manitoba and Scott Moe in Saskatchewan.

Horgan will quickly become Canada's most isolated premier, both geographically and politically.

And he will have brought on himself with hostile moves that have lessened Rachel Notley and the NDP of Alberta in the eyes of the voters.

Horgan's only terrifying action – his claim to regulate Alberta's bitumen flows – remains an existential threat to the entire oil industry.

He wants to control the bitumen either by train, truck or pipeline. This seems to violate all constitutional principles of interprovincial free trade.

Horgan first brought regulations last year. This provoked a commercial mini-war when Notley banned briefly Alberta's purchases of B.C. wine.

Horgan softened his demand and stepped back, but not far. He referred to B.C's judicial claim to the courts, where he still stands.

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He may have no idea of ​​the official rage he will face if the UCP wins in Alberta.

Kenney would most likely invoke Bill 12, which allows cuts in oil shipments to other provinces.

The NDP passed the law last year, but never used it. (This should not be confused with the reduction of current production, which should raise prices.)

During a tour north last week, Kenney said at Beaverlodge:

"We have to make it clear that we are prepared to do what (ex-PM) Peter Lougheed did in the early 1980s in response to the National Energy Program.

"We must be prepared to turn off the oil taps of Alberta, which fuels the economy of the Lower Interior."

After Ottawa bought the pipeline last year, Notley said it was no use using Bill 12.

Kenney disagreed.

"If the logic of Bill 12 existed two weeks ago, it still exists today," he said.

"I would be prepared to implement this, given the continued obstructionism of the BC. government."

Notley and Horgan are not friendlier, obviously. But she was always reluctant to wage a total battle with anyone, let alone another new Democrat.

Kenney probably will not show such a restriction.

John Horgan's party can beat Nanaimo on Wednesday, and maybe that's good for him. He does not have many friends anywhere else.

Don Braid's column appears regularly in the Herald.

[email protected]

Twitter: @DonBraid

Facebook: Don Braid Politics

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