Business, Indigenous and government leaders from B.C. and Alberta jointly call for TMEP go ahead, restored confidence in Canada.
One hundred senior British Columbia business, Indigenous, government, community and labour leaders joined their Alberta counterparts in a stirring show of solidarity during a visit to the Alberta Legislature on May 17.
The event included a meeting at the Alberta Legislature during which the B.C. representatives broke out in a spontaneous and stirring rendition of ‘O Canada’ while standing on the legislature staircase. It was followed by a luncheon, with a speech by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, and a panel discussion featuring leaders from Indigenous, labour and business groups.
While the event was triggered by uncertainty over the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP), a strong theme of the day was the belief that this issue transcends any single project. While acknowledging that debate over projects like TMEP is healthy, participants noted that TMEP is now a federally approved project and attempts to thwart it after the fact challenge Canadian values of fairness, honesty and rule of law, while damaging Canada’s reputation as a reliable place to invest and do business. Premier Notley welcomed the support shown by the Federation Flight as part of an emerging national consensus she has observed in support of TMEP, Canada’s resource industry and the rule of law. She welcomed the members of the Federation Flight as neighbours, allies and Canadians, saying “We will not back down. We will get this pipeline built.” She added that Alberta is not a ‘landlocked’ province because “We are one country and it is time that we acted like one,” a remark that was met with loud applause.
Iain Black, president of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, one of the groups that helped organize the event, noted that the members of the Federation Flight included: “Leaders from 10 different First Nations. Labour. Youth. Northerners. Southerners. Islanders. Cross-industry and cross-generation,” adding “We believe in B.C. and we believe in Canada as a strong, united country. This is the message we proudly take to Edmonton today.”