B.C. Premier John Horgan insists: “I do not believe I have been provocative in any way.”

Really. He said that.

Surrounded by wildly provoked neighbours, he denies he’s the kid who broke the window.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau blasted Horgan a half-dozen times Wednesday, by name, accusing him of blocking the Trans Mountain pipeline with “unconstitutional” tactics.

The federally approved pipeline “is being thwarted on purpose by Premier Horgan,” Morneau said, rejecting the premier’s argument that B.C. is just testing its powers in the courts.

“This is impossible for a private-sector actor to deal with,” Morneau added.

Morneau was careful not to censure Horgan’s province or its people. He blamed only the man and his party, the NDP.

Then he praised Premier Rachel Notley for Alberta’s climate-change plan, especially the hard cap on oilsands emissions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first tested the attack mode in February, in a curious interview with the online publication The National Observer.

“John Horgan is actually trying to scuttle our national plan on fighting climate change,” Trudeau said.

“By blocking the Kinder Morgan pipeline, he’s putting at risk the entire national climate-change plan.”

It sounded like the start of an aggressive campaign. But the personal rhetoric quickly softened. The feds worried about provoking a pro-Horgan backlash.

Three months later, it’s clear that support for the pipeline is rising in B.C. Horgan seems increasingly isolated. Kinder Morgan’s artificial deadline, May 31, has amped up the stakes for everyone, especially Ottawa.

Morneau cut loose at Horgan, even as he threw the whole pipeline deal onto the open market.

“We think plenty of investors would be interested in taking on this project, especially knowing that the federal government believes it is in the best interests of Canadians and is willing to provide indemnity to make sure it gets built,” he said.

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Source:: Calgary Herald

      

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