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Canada  

Canada won't back down

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says the government will not entertain any attempts by British Columbia to stall or stop the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

"If that is the goal of any province, we will take the necessary action to ensure that federally approved resource projects proceed." Carr said Monday.

When asked if that includes taking B.C. to court, he said Canada has "all kinds of options" to exert its constitutional authority over interprovincial pipelines.

Federal officials, ministers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been negotiating with Alberta and B.C. for almost two weeks now, ever since B.C. launched a consultation asking its residents whether the province should ban any increase in oil flows through pipelines within the province pending further research on the impact of an oil spill.

Such a ban would kill the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which was given federal approval in November 2016 and would triple capacity of a line that already runs between Edmonton and Vancouver.

B.C. hasn't yet enacted such a ban, which limits the legal options for Ottawa to fight back.

"All British Columbia has tangibly done at this point is signal its intention to consult with the people of its province," said Carr.

Ottawa has constitutional jurisdiction over interprovincial infrastructure, such as highways, pipelines and electricity grids. Alberta wants the pipeline, but the B.C. NDP government elected last year campaigned on a promise to use "every tool in the toolbox" to fight it.

Construction began on the Westridge Marine Terminal where the pipeline ends in Burnaby, B.C. in September 2017, but construction on the pipeline itself is still awaiting final permits and route approvals. Kinder Morgan recently said it expects the operational date for the pipeline is now a year later than expected, in December 2020. Officials have also said they are committed to the $7.4 billion project despite the latest stumbling blocks.



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