Pipeline Dispute Already Wreaking Havoc on Kootenays with More on the Way: MLA Clovechok

Doug Clovechok says the BC and Alberta governments are like the married couple that keep squabbling over the Trans Mountain Pipeline, while local residents are the child stuck in the middle suffering.

The MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke spoke to Summit 107 during the "Wine Wars" back in February, where he said tourism operators in the riding were receiving threats of boycotts from Albertans.

Although the trade embargo has since been lifted, tensions have continued to mount over Kinder Morgan's massive pipeline expansion.

Clovechok says this is continuing to result in an economic hit to the region, and not just from Albertans.

"We're seeing that backlash, we're seeing Americans who are not coming here on holidays and planning their trips, which affects our businesses. They're also looking at, through the NDP's speculation tax, selling their homes and so on and so forth."

He claims that a couple of larger golf tournaments in the Columbia Valley have recently been cancelled, which would have each brought a lot of people to the area.

Kinder Morgan has given the governments until the end of May to come to a peaceful resolution.

If that does not happen, the company says they might end up scrapping the project altogether, while the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments have both threatened legal actions against BC.

The provinces have indicated that this might include shutting off the taps for oil to flow to the province.

GasBuddy says this could result in gas prices shooting up to as high as $1.85/litre with regular fuel shortages to follow.

This is because oil would likely have to be shipped into BC through trucks and railcars, which Clovechok says is less efficient and could result in environmental damage.

"[John Horgan] says he's protecting the Canadian coastline - what about our rivers? What about our lakes? If you want more oil tankers coming through our riding, what about the Columbia Lake? What about Windermere Lake? What about the wetlands of the Columbia River? They don't seem to be thinking about that."

Clovechok says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau consider all legislative actions that can be taken against the Pacific Province, even suggesting that transfer payments to BC should be taken away until Horgan can agree to let the pipeline project happen.

- David Opinko

Audio: Doug Clovechok, MLA, Columbia River-Revelstoke

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