Alberta NDP leader and incumbent premier Rachel Notley speaks to the press after the 2019 Alberta Leaders Debate in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday, April 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan

Alberta premier says federal OK for Trans Mountain line coming by end of May

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley says she expects Ottawa to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to the west coast by the end of May.

In a election campaign stop with energy workers in Edmonton, she said the province is nearer than ever to getting the pipeline.

“We are this close, this close to getting that pipeline back under construction,” Notley said Monday. “In fact, we expect an approval from the federal government by the end of next month.”

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22. That started the clock on a 90-day period for the federal government to decide whether the project should proceed.

No one from federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi’s office immediately returned a request for comment, but he has previously said a final decision won’t be made until consultations with affected Indigenous groups are complete.

Notley said she understands that the federal government is making good progress on those consultations.

“It’s not like the federal government is calling me up saying, ‘Hey, we are going to do this’ because they are not and I am not here saying that,” said Notley.

“What I am telling you is that public opinion is fully behind it, that the recommendations of the NEB have addressed all of the issues … the position of the industry here and the fact it’s paired with an emissions cap in the oilsands — all of these things address all of the critical objections that have been made in the past.

“We’ve got growing support from Indigenous groups across this province and into B.C. who want in on the pipeline deal. There is just a growing level of support.”

READ MORE: Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

Notley said about seven in 10 Canadians now support the project because they understand it would support jobs and a strong economy.

She said that if her party were to be re-elected on April 16, she would continue to stand up for Alberta’s energy industry.

“I am willing to bet my political future on it,” she said. “We’re going to get this pipeline built and, when it happens, it will be the first pipeline to tidewater in over 60 years. Albertans need to have faith that we will get this done.”

During a leaders debate on Thursday, United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney suggested that Notley has foolishly tied Alberta’s fortunes to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government by introducing a carbon tax.

In return, Kenney said, Trudeau has hindered Alberta’s bedrock industry with a ban on tankers off the northern B.C. coast and proposed legislation that Kenney says could hinder approvals for future energy projects.

Kenney said Trudeau has also bungled the Trans Mountain expansion to get more Alberta oil to the B.C. coast. The project has been delayed by court challenges and rulings.

The federal government stepped in last year to buy the project to help ensure it gets built.

READ MORE: Canada says B.C. trying to impede Trans Mountain with pipeline legislation

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Terrace councillors consider court watch committee to ‘create an extra level of accountability’

City staff are reaching out to Coast Mountain College about a pilot program

Council briefs: RCMP rural files on the rise

Summary of key discussions from the public council meeting July 27, 2020

Tahltan Nation closes hunting and recreational activity access points

The remote and vulnerable territory has limited medical capacity

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Most Read