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.

Just Posted

Council supports cost of living increase

Rimbey’s interim budget shows slight increase

Academic excellence achieved

Rimbey high school students do well

Snow expected within the next 24 hours

Snowfall expected in Rimbey and area

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Proposed health care changes would be “devastating” to rural family practice: president of AMA

AHS, AMA and MLA Ron Orr chime in on recent health care announcements

Man accused in toddler son’s death inept parent, not murderer: defence

Toddler’s body was found outside Good Shepherd Anglican Church in April 2017

Job numbers disappointing, but oil and gas growth expected in 2020: Kenney

Unemployment rate in Alberta rose to 7.2 per cent from 6.7 per cent last month

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Feds approve Alberta’s carbon tax on big industrial emitters

Tax will be applied on 10 per cent of emissions produced by the province’s biggest polluters

Appeal denied: Alberta’s top court upholds conviction of triple-murderer

Douglas Garland was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of a couple and their grandson

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Most Read