The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is against the politicization of the conflict between the governments of Alberta and British Columbia concerning the latter’s unwillingness to accept the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion projects.
Responding to comments made by the leader of the Alberta United Conservative Party, Jason Kenney, CAPP’s head, Tim McMillan, said “We want to see the politicization mellowed on all sides. Any time that trade issues get ramped up and there’s a politicization of them, people get injured, businesses get injured. Our hope is that the elected leaders can find a path through this.”
The comments McMillan was responding to included Kenney’s suggestion that Alberta stop shipping crude oil to British Columbia, and that it cut the amount of natural gas that flows into B.C. from Alberta before export to the United States.
Kenney argued that if British Columbia wants to put obstacles in front of new energy projects initiated by Alberta, then it basically doesn’t deserve the revenues it generates from existing energy projects, including the Trans Mountain pipeline.
CBC News notes that if Kenney somehow convinces the Alberta government to stop shipping oil and cut the gas shipments to its western neighbor, it won’t just raise prices at the pump across B.C. It would also result in increased tanker traffic along the B.C. coast—something that the province’s government has spoken firmly against.
Alberta’s Chamber of Commerce chair, Janet Riopel, also spoke against the trade war between the provinces, noting that any sort of ban would have a negative effect on the business climate in Alberta, and it is already a tough one to operate in, especially for the oil industry.
For McMillan, however, the impact of the conflict reaches further than just Alberta. It is a problem for the whole of Canada, he argued, dampening investor confidence and hurting the country’s reputation. “We’re getting a reputation around the world as a country that can’t get things done,” he said. “We’re losing investment to Iran, and that’s hard for Canada to hear.”