British Columbia says will bar Trans Mountain work until consultations done

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The B.C. government wants to join a legal challenge against the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, as part of its attempt to kill the project.

"Our government made it clear that a seven-fold increase in heavy oil tankers in the Vancouver harbour is not in B.C.'s best interests", Heyman told reporters in Vancouver.

"What we have said is we will use every tool available to defend B.C.'s interest and that's exactly what we're doing", he said.

The announcement adds to the potential hurdles standing in the way of the project and raises the potential for a dispute with the federal and Alberta governments, which both maintain B.C. has no right to stop the pipeline project. The NDP said without the certificates, the Trans Mountain expansion can not move forward on public land.

Heyman said the government's action will take two forms - legal and consultative.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project would twin an existing pipeline along a 1,150-kilometre route from Alberta to Burnaby and increase the company's tanker traffic sevenfold.

The government also will seek to join in legal challenges to the federal approval of the pipeline past year, Heyman said.

The province will retain council, and seeks to become an official intervener during future Kinder Morgan hearings.

The chief executive of Kinder Morgan's Canadian unit, Ian Anderson, said the company "takes seriously" the remarks from British Columbia's government and remains prepared to work with authorities to address the concerns.

"He is a living example of modern First Nations law in Canada".

That leaves the new BC government in a hard position, but Eby said he is confident that hiring Berger sends the right message.

"In the B.C. Green caucus's view, the National Energy Board process that led to this project's approval was profoundly flawed", Weaver said in a statement.

Rich Coleman, interim leader of the BC Liberal Party, however, said the province stands to lose almost $20 billion in GDP should the NDP kill a project that has already met B.C.'s conditions. "We have undertaken thorough, extensive and meaningful consultations with Aboriginal peoples, communities, and individuals, and remain dedicated to those efforts and relationships as we move forward with construction activities in September".

"British Columbians should be rightly concerned that their government is spending tax dollars to stop a project that will not only boost our local economies but also benefit the rest of our country", Coleman said. Kinder Morgan Canada's stock price fell 3.6% in trading on Toronto stock market, closing the session at C$17.28.

George Heyman and Attorney General David Eby announced the NDP government's first actions to fight the federally approved $7.4 billion pipeline on Thursday.