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’s Notley expects pipeline approval soon; Kenney calls it ‘phoney fight’

Notley says she expects federal approval of the Trans Mountain extension by the end of May

Alberta’s two main political rivals had opposing messages about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion during their election campaigns Monday.

NDP Leader Rachel Notley said she expects Ottawa to approve the expansion by the end of May, while United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney suggested Notley is in a ”phoney fight” for pipelines.

In an election campaign stop with energy workers in Edmonton, Notley said the province is closer than ever to getting the pipeline.

“Mark my words: this pipeline will get built,” she said. “It has been the fight of my life and I will not stop until the job is done.

“We are this close, this close to getting that pipeline back under construction. 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 line on Feb. 22, which started the clock on a 90-day period for the federal government to decide whether the project should proceed.

Vanessa Adams, press secretary to federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi, said Ottawa continues to consult with Indigenous communities.

“To date, our teams have met with over 100 communities and are actively engaging in meaningful, two-way dialogue,” she said in an emailed statement. “We are making important progress each week.”

Adams said the government is mindful of the time frame for a decision, but is focused on meeting its obligation to consult.

“We must get that right,” she said.

Notley said she’s confident the pipeline approval will come.

“Public opinion is fully behind it,” she said. “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.”

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 April 16, she would continue to stand up for Alberta’s energy industry.

In a speech in Medicine Hat, United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney said Notley has sold the province out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government.

“Our premier is pretending,” Kenney said. “The real fight of the NDP’s life has been against the pipeline, against energy jobs, against oil and gas.”

He suggested the NDP hasn’t been genuine.

“They opposed Northern Gateway. They folded on Energy East. They opposed Keystone XL. They did nothing to fight back against all these anti-energy Trudeau policies,” he said. “But on Trans Mountain, they are really trying to pull the wool over our eyes about their phoney fight for pipelines.”

Kenney said if he were Alberta’s next premier, he would immediately bring in ”turn-off-the-taps” legislation allowing the province to scale back exports of its crude to B.C. if the government there continued to obstruct the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

“We will make it very clear to the NDP government in Victoria that if they continue their campaign of obstruction we will be prepared to turn off the flow of Alberta energy to B.C.’s Lower Mainland.”

Kenney said gasoline prices have hit an all-time high of $1.67 a litre in B.C. and he predicted they would remain high if Alberta were to turn off the taps.

READ MORE: Notley and Kenney swap attacks on trust in Alberta election leaders debate

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nixon elected according to Global News

Nixon surges ahead in 15 ridings

Alberta’s Notley talks pipelines, energy on last day of election campaign

Noteley toured a pipe fabrication yard in Calgary, a key battleground in Tuesday’s election

Notley hopes for momentum shift as provincial election campaign winds down

Rachel Notley visited a Sikh temple in Calgary today before heading to Edmonton for a rally

Central Alberta man found guilty in crash that killed 2 people, hurt 2 others

Ashleigh Smith, who was 16, and 18-year-old John Dolliver were killed and two other teens were injured

VIDEO: Massive fire engulfs beloved Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Peak of church was undergoing a 6 million-euro renovation

Precautionary evacuation for Red Deer, Alta., residents due to industrial fire

City officials are advising people to close windows and doors and to turn off air intakes into homes

Study links preschool screen time to behavioural and attention problems

The research looked at more than 2,400 families

Could a pharmacist’s consultation help more people get vaccinated?

Canadian study suggests giving pharmacists a monetary incentive to consult would cut influenza cases

Red Deer RCMP arrest man wanted on murder warrant

Quentin Strawberry was arrested last night on an outstanding warrant

Scam watch: Better Business Bureau says wait to donate to Notre Dame rebuild

Bureau says scammers take advantage of whatever is in the news

B.C. braces for another round of pipeline battle with Alberta’s Jason Kenney

Premier John Horgan looks to cool dispute that’s heading back to court

$1 billion raised to rebuild Paris’ Notre Dame after fire

France has set a 5-year deadline to get the work done

COLUMN: On National Day of Action, expert says overdose crisis is not about pain

There were 1,486 illicit drug overdose deaths last year in British Columbia

Most Read