VICTORIA — A defiant British Columbia Premier John Horgan said he won't back down from his government's opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline project when he meets Sunday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.
Horgan said Thursday he will go to Ottawa to hear what the prime minister and Alberta premier have to say, but if they expect him to drop B.C.'s court actions or its advocacy for protection from oil spills, they are mistaken.
"I will defend to the end the rights of B.C. to stand up and defend our coast," Horgan said during an outdoor news conference near a legislature flower garden. "This is a serious issue for British Columbians and I'll do my level best to make sure the premier of Alberta and the prime minister understand that."
Trudeau summoned Horgan and Notley for the meeting over the escalating dispute. The prime minister is attending the Summit of the Americas in Peru, but will return to Canada for the meeting before heading to Europe on a trade mission.
Kinder Morgan, the pipeline's operator, turned up the heat last week announcing it is stopping essential spending on the $7.4 billion Trans Mountain expansion because of opposition and delays in B.C. The company established a May 31 deadline for action.
"I'm happy to hear what the prime minister and perhaps Rachel Notley has to say," Horgan said. "I don't feel there's any need for sabre-rattling or provocation, nor for threats."
Meanwhile, Notley said she will attend the meeting in good faith and with an open mind, but the bottom line is the expansion project must get built without delay.
Notley also says she will bring in legislation next week that would allow her to curtail oil shipments to British Columbia regardless of the outcome of Sunday's meeting.
Such action is expected to cause gas prices and other costs to spike in B.C.
Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
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