* Pipeline dispute stalls attempt to devise energy policy
* British Columbia says it wants more money from pipeline
* Alberta premier rejects the idea of negotiations
By Richard Woodbury
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, July 27 A dispute over a
proposed oil pipeline to Canada's Pacific Coast derailed plans
by premiers of the 10 Canadian provinces on Friday to devise a
common policy on developing rich energy resources.
Premier Christy Clark of the westernmost province of British
Columbia said she would boycott talks on energy until
neighboring oil-rich Alberta agreed to share more revenue from
Enbridge Inc's proposed C$6 billion ($6 billion)
Northern Gateway pipeline.
The project is designed to take oil from Alberta's tar sands
to a port in British Columbia for transport to China and other
lucrative Asian markets.
The federal Conservative government strongly backs the
pipeline, which would help to diversify exports away from the
United States in the wake of Washington's decision last year to
delay approving the Keystone XL pipeline from the tar sands to
"Until we see some progress in the discussions between
British Columbia, Alberta and the federal government with
respect to the Gateway pipeline through British Columbia, we
will not be participating in a discussion of a national energy
strategy," Clark told reporters.
The premiers, at a meeting in Halifax, had wanted to agree
on how to best develop Canada's oil and gas resources as well as
address problems such as the lack of a major pipeline to the
east of the country, which is forced to import much of its oil.
"Provinces have had a real chance to demonstrate that we are
willing to sit down at the table and take on some of these
thorny issues between us and it hasn't happened," Clark said at
the end of the three-day meeting.
Clark -- who said she had had frank talks on Friday with
Alberta Premier Alison Redford -- insists she wants more money
to compensate for the environmental risk of allowing the
pipeline to cross British Columbia.
Redford, asked about the dispute, said: "I don't think we
should lament the fact we are not all the way there yet ... we
have almost every premier in the country talking about the fact
we need to come together and talk about how to grow Canada's
Green activists and some aboriginal groups -- across whose
territory the Northern Gateway would cross -- say the risks of
an environmental disaster are too great for the pipeline to go
Kathy Dunderdale, premier of Newfoundland and a strong
backer of talks on an energy policy, acknowledged the
conversations had been difficult.
"There are challenges on these issues, but we don't get to
walk away from them. ... We're looking forward to the time when
British Columbia is comfortable enough that they'll be a part of
it," she told the closing news conference.
Clark's critics note opinion polls regularly show her
Liberals trailing the opposition New Democrats badly ahead of a
provincial election in British Columbia due next year. The New
Democrats strongly oppose the pipeline.
Terry Teegee, of the Carrier Sekani aboriginal group, said
Clark was "putting on a show because she's under political
pressure and needs votes" and should instead make clear she
opposed the pipeline under all circumstances.
"It is absolutely unacceptable for our premier to play a
game of 'The Price is Right' while putting our lands, our waters
and our futures at risk to devastating oil spills," he said in a