There are rare moments when Canada’s federal government must step outside its normal way of doing business for the good of the nation. Now is such a moment.
The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project is too important to our national interests to allow it to fail due to political posturing by British Columbia’s NDP-Green Government after the project was approved by the appropriate federal regulatory body following an exhaustive review process.
The blow to Canada’s global reputation as a stable place to invest would be devastating.
Businesses will only invest in billion-dollar projects if they have a reasonable level of certainty they can proceed if they follow the rules, do everything right and secure appropriate environmental and regulatory approvals. They will willingly participate in lengthy approvals processes and take on normal business risks – the price of their commodity may fall, or a competitor may beat them in the marketplace with better marketing or more efficient logistics. Fine.
What businesses cannot take on is the wildcard risk of regulatory flip-flops. If they cannot be certain that regulatory approval actually means approval, the uncertainty created is just too great and they will invest somewhere else in the world.
That is exactly the situation the B.C. NDP Government is creating.