03/15/2018 11:43 EDT | Updated 03/15/2018 13:00 EDT

Deron Bilous, Alberta Cabinet Minister, Apologizes For Calling B.C. Officials 'Bunch Of Sh*theads'

He said he was irritated by the province's efforts to delay the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain project.

Jason Franson/Canadian Press
Deron Bilous is sworn in as the Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs, Service Alberta in Edmonton on May 24, 2015. He is now economic development minister.

An Alberta cabinet minister apologized Wednesday after he called B.C. government officials "a bunch of shitheads" during a conference.

He told CBC News he was fed up with the province's efforts to delay construction on Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion when he made the comments.

"Quite frankly, ideally we need to be more collaborative with the provinces on either side of us, although B.C. is being a bunch of shitheads," Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous had said, as reported by the Edmonton Journal.

"But we're going to do what we can to get the pipeline built."

He told the Journal in a statement that he should have used "more diplomatic" language in expressing his frustration.

"We are working hard to get a pipeline built so our world-class energy producers can get a world-class price for our oil," he said.

B.C.'s environment minister was not impressed.

"I think most people in British Columbia and I think Alberta would agree that is just inappropriate for a minister and understand the minister has apologized," George Heyman told Global News.

He said the courts were the place to sort out any differences between the two provinces.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has been fighting with B.C. Premier John Horgan's government over what Alberta terms delay tactics on the pipeline, including court challenges and permit delays in an area that Notley considers to be a federal responsibility.

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The premier suspended negotiations on electricity sales and cut off sales of wine from B.C. after Horgan's government announced in late January it would not take in more oil from Alberta above current levels while it studies spill safety.

Notley lifted the wine ban last month after Horgan reversed his stand on the oil moratorium and said he would instead seek a ruling in the courts.

Last week, Notley announced her government would consider cutting oil and natural gas exports if B.C. continued to delay.

Horgan said B.C. will stick to its legal plan to test its jurisdiction on environmental and economic grounds.

With files from The Canadian Press

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