British Columbia John Horgan, left, and Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney discuss issues as Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, centre, looks on during the Western Premiers’ conference, in Edmonton on Thursday, June 27, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

No pipeline fireworks as Western premiers exit annual meeting

Both John Horgan and Jason Kenney said their positions on Trans Mountain haven’t changed

There were smiles, handshakes and even a joke or two as Canada’s western premiers emerged from their day-long meeting in Edmonton Thursday.

There has been friction between the leaders of late over British Columbia’s opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would carry more Alberta oil to the West Coast.

Both B.C. Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said their positions on the project didn’t change following the talks.

Thursday was the first time the two leaders met face to face and the meeting came a week after the federal government approved the controversial project for a second time.

But there were no fireworks at the closing news conference like at last year’s meeting, when the pipeline issue led then-Alberta premier Rachel Notley to opt out of signing a final statement for reporters.

Instead, the premiers found common ground on issues such as trade corridors and recognizing professional credentials from province to province.

READ MORE: B.C. files second legal challenge against Alberta over turn-off-taps law

“We spent a lot of time working together on a statement that finds common ground,” Kenney said. “It frankly meant that we didn’t all get what we would like. Premier Horgan wasn’t going to agree to endorse the TMX expansion, for example.

“So, obviously there were some differences.”

Kenney restated that Alberta is prepared to use provincial legislation to limit oil and gas exports to any province he sees as standing in the way of pipelines — a so-called turn-off-the-taps law.

Horgan said his government will push ahead with a legal challenge of that law, as well as a reference to the Supreme Court on whether the federal government had the constitutional jurisdiction to approve the pipeline expansion.

But there were few jabs thrown.

Horgan even made a joke about being the lone New Democrat at the table with Kenney, Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe and Manitoba’s Brian Pallister, all leaders of conservative governments.

“I wore a blue suit so I could blend in,” he said as Kenney laughed.

Pallister went into the meeting hoping his western counterparts would unite against Quebec’s law banning civil servants from wearing religious symbols, but the item did not make it on the formal agenda of the meeting.

Pallister said he wouldn’t give up the fight.

“Manitoba remains very concerned about anything that interferes with our ability to celebrate as a country the diversity that’s a reality here,” he said.

“I’m a farm boy and I don’t like erosion. And I certainly am always concerned about the erosion of rights in our country. So I’ll continue to have that view and I’ll continue to express it.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

ECD inquires about bathroom availability for children

Bathroom close to playground available at Pas Ka Poo Park

Vehicle thefts high

RCMP overall calls below average for August

Some angels choose fur instead of wings

Boarding kennels are dream turned into reality

Conservation finds a home on the range

DUC supports beef industry for environmental sustainability with ABP

Dress up 50s/60s rock style for Rock’n Rimbey

Decoration, dress-up contest runs all week in Rimbey

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Search continues for possible drowning on Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake RCMP and Fire Department continue their search for 20-something adult male

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

Huawei executive’s defence team alleges Canadians were ‘agents’ of the FBI

eng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

On vaccines, abortion, Goop, doctor Jen Gunter says: ‘I have a duty to speak up’

She speaks out on menstruation, the wellness industry and vaccines

RCMP and fire departments respond to possible drowning on Sylvan Lake

RCMP say they are actively searching for a man in his 20s with boats on the lake

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Most Read