REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says the result of the British Columbia election is concerning if the province ends up being led by an NDP-led coalition.
Wall says that’s because the B.C. New Democrats have been clear that they will do whatever they can to kill Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to the west coast.
Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal party, which supports the pipeline, won 43 seats — one short of a majority — in Tuesday’s general election.
The NDP won 41 seats and the Greens hold the balance of power with three seats — both parties ran on platforms that included opposition to the pipeline.
Wall says Evraz, a steel-making factory in Regina, has been selected to build the pipe for Trans Mountain.
He says the pipeline would help increase the value Saskatchewan received for its oil because it would get it to the coast where it would gain access to world markets and better prices.
“The bottom line is that I do have to be concerned for jobs at Evraz in Regina,” Wall said Wednesday at the Saskatchewan legislature.
“That’s a big part of my job. I should be concerned about the health of our energy sector in the province, and that’s linked in many ways to pipelines that get oil to port.
“So if there is a party that gets elected in some other province that has a potentially negative effect on that — I don’t care what the party is — then it’s incumbent on us to point out what our interests might be.”
Walls said it would also be bad for B.C. if a government were to say no to major projects such as the pipeline.
“B.C. is a port province. Its economy, certainly the ports, depend on exports from other provinces.”
Desjardins Capital Markets analysts said that a minority government in B.C. could present significant challenges for the Canadian energy sector.
They said Trans Mountain would be the most immediate casualty, with an effect on heavy oil producers. Oil and gas producers in the Montney Formation, which straddles B.C. and Alberta, could also face greater uncertainty, they added.