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Business leader hopes construction of Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is fast-tracked

Last Updated Jun 19, 2019 at 7:27 pm PST

FILE: Pipes are seen at the pipe yard at the Trans Mountain facility in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, March 27, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

The Business Council of BC says delays on twinning the Trans Mountain pipeline will make it hard to compete with the US

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) –The head of the Business Council of British Columbia says the longer we wait to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline, the harder it will be to compete with the United States as a global provider of crude oil.

Greg D’Avignon says Ottawa’s latest approval of the multi-billion dollar expansion comes up to eight years too late.

“During this period of time in the United States, they’ve added 35,000 kilometres of new crude oil pipeline and Canada is one of the biggest customers of that export –over 370,000 barrels a day. We need to get things built on a timely basis,” he says.

Now that we know construction won’t likely start before September, he adds demand for fuel is climbing across BC as year over year car sales go up.

“The reality is British Columbians continue to buy more cars. In 2017, we purchased another 70-thousand vehicles that all require petroleum input. We import smart phones and pharmaceutical products and the way we pay for those is by exporting natural resources and energy products.”

RELATED: MPs approach Trans Mountain approval differently in B.C. and Alberta

The President and CEO of BCBC is also pleading with Premier John Horgan to stop trying to block something which has support from many Indigenous leaders.

“This isn’t an either/or. It’s an and. It has resulted in 1.5-billion dollars investment in marine protection that should have happened decades ago.”

Opponents of the expansion which include the Union of BC Indian Chiefs have indicated more legal challenges are coming.