EDITORIAL – One tiny spill sets the scene for tense week on pipeline issue


An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

AS TINY AS it was, the leak in the Trans Mountain line at Darfield on the weekend came at a bad time for pipeline proponents.

Thursday is the self-imposed deadline for Kinder Morgan to decide what it’s going to do about the Trans Mountain expansion, and the tension is so thick you could cut it with a knife.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s child-like refusal to attend a premier’s conference last week shows just how nasty the whole thing has become.

And then, her stand-in at the meeting refused to sign off on an official closing statement because it didn’t include support for the pipeline.

Add to it the silly Alberta threat to cut off fuel supplies to our province, and British Columbia is looking like the only adult in the room.

Premier John Horgan could have pulled a Notley and refused to attend the conference as well, but instead he was there dealing with things like pharmacare and the legalization of marijuana.

The rhetoric from Alberta borders on the hysterical. As Notley puts it, B.C. is “trying to choke the economic lifeblood of the province and the country.”

In other words, in the view of the Alberta NDP government, her province and the entire country will fall apart if the Trans Mountain twinning doesn’t happen. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket.

So what can we expect to happen this week? When federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau makes a speech Wednesday, he’ll likely confirm the feds’ promise to bail Kinder Morgan out of any financial inconvenience caused by further delays, maybe even with a detail or two on how much will be anteed up.

And, on Thursday, Kinder Morgan will say it’s satisfied with the federal response to date and will give it more time.

As for that 100 litres of crude on the ground at Darfield, it’s either ridiculously insignificant and shows the Trans Mountain folks are on their toes, or it proves the fallibility of pipelines.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (7457 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – One tiny spill sets the scene for tense week on pipeline issue

  1. 100 litres maybe the insignificant…tip of the iceberg!

  2. John Noakes // May 28, 2018 at 6:24 AM // Reply

    Premier Horgan now has some backing for his concerns about a spill in a place outside of Alberta.
    TMPL has some backing because of the quick response to clean up a spill, even if it was tiny.
    Premier Notley is perhaps breathing a sigh of relief the North Thompson didn’t take on 100,000 litres when the spring flood could have taken diluted bitumen and spread it across hundreds of acres of farm land and even into our own Riverside Park.
    One small spill can hopefully “mature” all involved to have a hard look at the pipeline issue before the deadline. Temper tantrums by a child in a grocery store are not welcomed nor should they be when people are old enough to know better.

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