A hundred British Columbia business, community and Indigenous leaders are in Alberta Thursday to try to remedy what they call a “crisis in confidence” caused by protests and B.C. government delay tactics in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
The B.C. group calls the visit the Federation Flight.
Standing on the marble staircase inside the Alberta legislature building, Canada scarves draped around their necks, the group burst into a rendition of the national anthem as they were welcomed by government cabinet ministers and Premier Rachel Notley.
The title of the mission encapsulates the group’s goal — to reinforce the fundamental partnership that is the Canadian federation, and heal the rift between the governments of B.C. and Alberta over the pipeline project.
For B.C. Chamber of Commerce president Val Litwin, the visit is a chance to tell Albertans they have friends in his province who want to see the project move forward.
“Today is really about rallying the troops and making sure people see visibly — in the news, front and centre — that people want this built,” he said in an interview.
“When you get federal approval, you jump through all the hoops for environmental assessments, for permitting, that should mean something. It’s time to get this project built and that’s what we’re here to say.”
First Nation voices across B.C. echo that message of project support, said Keith Matthew.
Matthew is the southern B.C. president of Cando, a national Indigenous organization involved in community economic development. He is a member and former chief of Simpcw First Nation, about 70 kilometres north of Kamloops in the province’s interior.
His nation signed an agreement in May 2016 with Kinder Morgan to allow around 300 km of pipeline through its territory.
He said Thursday he jumped on board the Federation Flight so people understand Indigenous communities “are part …read more
Source:: Edmonton Journal