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NDP refuse to say they are against BC tanker ban

After three straight days of questions, Premier Rachel Notley and the NDP government have repeatedly refused to say whether they want the federal government to lift its ban on tankers on British Columbia’s north coast, a move which would essentially kill the Northern Gateway pipeline, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

This past week, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean asked nine direct questions to the government about their position on the tanker ban. Each day, they have refused to state that they oppose the tanker ban.

“Lifting the tanker ban on the north British Columbia coast would help Northern Gateway and would open the door to other pipelines to the port of Prince Rupert ,” Jean said. “The Premier of Alberta should be fighting this ban for the benefit of Alberta, British Columbia and Canada’s energy sector.”

The moratorium on tanker traffic on BC’s north coast was announced in November as part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letters to his cabinet. A ban on tanker traffic would not only kill the already approved Northern Gateway pipeline, but raises doubts about whether British Columbia will be able to establish any terminals for liquefied natural gas in either Kitimat or Prince Rupert. Blocking tanker traffic limits BC, Saskatchewan and Alberta’s ability to get resources to market.

“A Canadian energy strategy that allows tankers to sail in from our east coast with foreign oil, but restricts the movement of Canadian resources on the west coast is not a viable path forward,” Jean said. “This Premier owes it to Albertans to fight this moratorium which is essentially shelving billions of dollars of investment in Canada’s energy sector at a critical time.”