With Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party winning the provincial election in Alberta, British Columbians may be wondering if the newly elected premier will make good on his promises to end oil exports to the West Coast province.
Kenney’s threat, made during Alberta’s election campaign, was meant to convey a way to punish the B.C. NDP government for its opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
This is not be the first time the two provinces have been at odds over the pipeline — and it goes beyond Alberta’s attack on Lotusland vino.
A year ago, the Alberta government under NDP premier Rachel Notley introduced legislation to give that province’s energy minister the power to restrict the amount of oil and gas leaving the province.
This move, which could have restricted the amount of Alberta oil coming to British Columbia, would have had some far-reaching consequences for this province.
However, British Columbia would not be the only one to lose if Kenney makes good on his promises to stop westward oil exports.
By shutting or even slowing the flow of oil from Alberta to B.C., Kenney’s actions would show the world Canada is a troubled country, a country riddled with internal strife and quarrels — even more than it may already appear to be with federal/provincial and Indigenous/governments battling.
This heightened image of a fractured Canada would not give international investors much confidence if they are interested in doing business in this country or with this nation’s firms.
When interprovincial disagreements escalate to the level of the Alberta-B.C. dispute, Canada appears to be a house divided. And a house divided against itself cannot stand.
With Ottawa set to make a decision on June 18 on the fate of a $4.5-billlion pipeline it owns, one would hope cooler heads will prevail — but past actions do not give us much hope.