Mr. Clark: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I don’t think it will come as a surprise to many members of this House that Alberta oil and gas is used for a lot more than just filling up your gas tank. There are plastics, petrochemicals, and, of course, asphalt for road building. My question today is for the Minister of Energy. The Burnaby refinery supplies more than just jet fuel to Vancouver airport and gasoline for Lower Mainland drivers. If Alberta restricts the flow of bitumen through the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline, will that also impact their supply of asphalt just in time for road construction season?

The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Economic Development and Trade.

Mr. Bilous: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I’ll thank the member for the question. As he rightly pointed out, we use our oil and gas for a variety of different products, and often we add value, whether in this province or in other jurisdictions. So there are going to be a significant number of consequences should we pass legislation to enable us to turn off the taps. There could be consequences for other industries, outside of just filling up at the pumps.

The Speaker: First supplemental.

Mr. Clark: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’ll help the minister. In fact, the Burnaby refinery does produce asphalt, but it is the only such facility in British Columbia that does so.

Given that if they do run short of asphalt in B.C., which comes primarily from oil sands bitumen, they’re going to have a tough time meeting their ambitious road-building targets and given that those plans include an expansion of the Trans-Canada highway near Vancouver and a whole lot more, again to the Minister of Energy: if we do restrict flow to the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline, will you also ensure that asphalt exports from Alberta to B.C. are restricted?

The Speaker: The hon. minister.

Mr. Bilous: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, I appreciate the hon. member providing different ideas and opportunities on ways that, should we need to continue down this path, we can ensure the project goes forward and that there are real economic consequences for the people of British Columbia because of the position that their government has taken. That is a very interesting point and one which our government will consider.

The Speaker: Second supplemental.

Mr. Clark: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Given that it is absolutely clear that trade benefits all provinces and given that B.C. relies on Alberta to ship products but that Alberta also relies on B.C., to the Premier: however this issue is resolved – and I genuinely and truly hope that it is resolved soon – what is your plan to reconcile with British Columbia to ensure that Canada remains a strong and united country?

The Speaker: The hon. minister.

Mr. Bilous: Well, thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I’ll thank the member for his point. I mean, you know, we’ll recall in this House that the Premier stood up when she first introduced the wine ban and said that our task force and our government were looking for ways to impose some sanctions on British Columbia, and it was unfortunate that it was the people of British Columbia that would have to feel those sanctions. In the same way, we want, obviously, this pipeline, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure that it is built. And it will get built. Moving beyond that, we are committed to building on our relationship. I’m committed to working with my counterparts to enhance trade corridors and ease the movement of goods and services.

 


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