Pressure is now building on the federal Conservative government to step in and respond to B.C.’s demands – by stating, among other things, whether Ottawa is willing to share some of the billions of dollars of federal tax revenue that would be generated by the pipeline or pony up cash for environmental protection.
Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Monday that Ottawa has a role to play in pipeline safety and maritime environmental protection, and that “we’re going to fulfil our obligations in that regard.” However, the government doesn’t sound too interested at this time in sharing more of the economic benefits with British Columbia, although it won’t directly state a position on the matter. “The economic benefits are, in fact, already shared across the country,” Oliver said in an interview with Postmedia News. “I just don’t want to get into that specific issue at this time.”
A report from the Canadian Energy Research Institute projects that the vast majority of tax revenues from three proposed pipelines—Keystone XL, Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain—would go to Alberta.