The government of B.C. and Enbridge have yet to meet to discuss the province's conditions for approval of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
The province laid out a five-point plan on Monday for the proposed Alberta oilsands-to-Kitimat pipeline. The government demanded the megaproject meet certain environmental standards,engage First Nations communities and generate more of a financial windfall for B.C., but five days later it has yet to schedule a meeting with the company behind the $6 billion plan.
Terry Lake, the provincial environment minister, laid out the province's terms on Monday but his office wasn't able to provide any reasons on Friday as to why no meetings with Enbridge have been lined up to date.
Enbridge spokesman Todd Nogier said the company has reviewed the documents and the province's demands and is ready to talk about them.
"We are always open to discussing with the government of British Columbia any issues related to the project, any issues related to some of the requirements that (Premier Christy Clark) has expressed this week and any issues related to our safety measures both for the marine aspects of the project and for the pipeline aspect of the project," he said.
Clark spent the week at a premiers' gathering in Halifax where she reiterated her government's message on Northern Gateway and repeatedly asked for meetings with Alberta Premier Alison Redford to discuss options, especially around how the benefits of the project are being divided.
B.C. believes that since it's bearing the risk of a spill both from the pipeline itself and from the tankers leaving Kitimat, that it's entitled to a larger share of the proceeds. On Friday, Clark went to far as to withdraw from meetings around an Alberta-led national energy strategy until her Northern Gateway concerns are dealt with.
Nogier said Enbridge has kept an eye on the political maneuvering this week, but said it's not the company's place to intervene.
"The conversations that have been ongoing between Alberta and B.C. are conversations at a provincial government level and don't include us," he said. "We're watching the progress of the talks at the premiers' meetings with interest."
With B.C. and Alberta seemingly at loggerheads over how the benefits of the project should be split up, some are calling on the federal government to step in and play peacemaker.
"What this whole project needs is people not becoming adversarial and starting to see what are the alternative plans which could reduce the tension and stop the Balkanization (of Canada)," University of Ottawa law professor Errol Mendes said. "It's a stalemate, one which really requires leadership which I don't think (Prime Minister) Stephen Harper and the federal government is providing. They're just piling on the antagonism."
Grant Mitchell, a Liberal Senator from Alberta, concurred.
"The feds can provide a facilitative role, a catalytic role, they can be part of the collaboration, they can mediate. They should be mediating on this Gateway issue."