Notley says it's time for Trudeau to 'step in' to B.C. pipeline dispute
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is calling for federal intervention after the B.C. government recently announced its intention to ban increased shipments of diluted bitumen off its coast, effectively adding another hurdle to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
“Even though right now it may be Alberta that is standing up for the national economy and Alberta that is standing up for jobs, the fact of the matter is, is that this actually has implications across the country,” Notley told CTV Question Period’s Evan Solomon in an interview that airs Sunday. “It is up to the Prime Minister to also step in.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, however, has said that while Kinder Morgan will be built, he has no intention of getting in-between two squabbling provinces.
“I specifically took issue with him about that characterization,” Notel said of a Thursday conversation with Trudeau. “I said this is not a debate between B.C. and Alberta – this is a debate between B.C. and Canada.”
In retaliation against B.C., Notley has already threatened to suspend electricity-purchasing talks with her western neighbour, a move that she claims could cost B.C. up to $500 million a year. Additional measures, she said, are also being considered.
“Here’s the thing, as I’ve said before, the federal government has approved the project,” Notley said. “What I think at the end of the day that John Horgan is going to have to do, is he’s going to have to remember that he was elected to serve British Columbians – and not just two or three Green Party members.”
Horgan, who like Notley leads an NDP government, swept into power in July after forming an alliance with his province’s Green Party, which holds three seats in B.C.’s legislature.
By acting to hinder the development of the Trans Mountain pipeline, Notley says Horgan would be breaking the law and “creating investor uncertainty and undermining a project that has been found to be in the national economic interest.”
“And the other thing I would suggest,” she added, “is that he might want to have a conversation with the 40,000-or-so British Columbians who actually have their jobs connected to Alberta’s oilsands, who then pay taxes in B.C. This is not just an Alberta issue.”
The wide-ranging implications of B.C.’s move, Notley added, means that federal intervention is a must.
“This was a fight, frankly, that was started by B.C., but definitely now the gloves are off,” Notley said. “We’re going to do everything that we can to make the point to the B.C. government that you cannot take direct aim at Alberta jobs, at the Alberta economy, and quite frankly at the Canadian economy without there being consequences.”
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