Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Notley launches more ways to fight BC's pipeline stance

Notley launches more ways to fight BC's pipeline stance

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she's giving the British Columbia government "space" as it consults with its federal counterparts, but warned she isn't limiting what measures she'd take in the ongoing dispute over the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The Alberta government has already suspended talks regarding selling electricity to B.C. and recently moved to ban the import of B.C. wine.

Horgan said last week that he won't be distracted by Notley's trade attempts and that he does have the law on his side.

The province has launched a website for Albertans to drill home to Canadians the importance of the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

"We do not seek an escalation, but if B.C. continues to insist that they have rights to attack Alberta's economy that they don't have, we will have no choice (but) to respond", said Notley.

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The problem is, provinces don't have the authority to regulate what goes through pipelines. Detractors, including First Nations, environmentalists and local B.C. politicians say the project is too risky since it could lead to spills and push Canada's climate change goals out of reach.

It features links to ways Canadians can take action - contact their MP or MLA, for example, or sign a petition demanding B.C. Premier John Horgan honour the rules of Confederation and "stop standing in the way of working Canadians".

"I think that what we need to do is not be talking to each other inside this building, but rather speaking to people across this country about the import of our position", she said.

Horgan and Notley are both NDP premiers.

Canada's two provincial NDP premiers will not attend this weekend's federal party convention in Ottawa. The pipeline expansion has been fully vetted by the National Energy Board and has been approved by the federal Liberal government, and by his predecessor, Christy Clark.

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"If they didn't get it a week ago, I certainly hope they get it now".

Kenney commended the Premier for appointing a Task Force to advise government on the issue, but argued if the government was willing to seek input from lobbyists, bankers and academics, it was also time also seek input from Alberta's elected representatives. She introduced an opposition motion in the House of Commons on Monday calling on the federal government to make public no later than February 15, its specific plan to get the pipeline built.

Shannon Stubbs, federal Conservative natural resources critic, is not as convinced as Notley that Ottawa is doing everything it can to get the pipeline built.

Late last month, B.C.'s environment minister announced the province would be gathering public feedback about a number of potential pipeline-related regulations.

Ironically, one of the most valuable B.C. exports to Alberta appears to be the condensate that is used to create the diluted bitumen that Horgan wants to restrict.

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