OTTAWA — The debate around the future of the planned TransMountain pipeline expansion in British Columbia could intensify today when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets new B.C. Premier John Horgan for the first time.
Horgan was sworn into office last week after an unprecedented photo-finish election that saw former premier Christy Clark’s short-lived minority Liberal government defeated and Horgan’s NDP take over with the backing of the Green party.
Trudeau’s government approved the $7.4-billion pipeline expansion project last fall but Horgan campaigned against it and has pledged to fight the project with every tool at his disposal.
The two leaders have sidestepped the issue in official communications thus far, including a news release from Horgan on Monday where he said he intends to discuss the opioid crisis, B.C.’s wildfire emergency and the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S.
But there is little time for Horgan to waste if he wants to stop the project as pipeline-builder Kinder Morgan said just last week construction is on schedule to begin in September.
Following Horgan’s Ottawa trip, he will fly on to Washington, D.C., for meetings with U.S. lawmakers and officials about the softwood lumber dispute.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Horgan was sworn in last month instead of last week.