Notley Challenges Trudeau Government to ‘Step up’ in Defence of Pipelines

Photo: Justin Tang / The Canadian Press


Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the Trudeau government must “step up” to promote pipeline projects across Canada. In a speech to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, Notley had messages for the federal Liberals, Conservatives and NDP.

She said the federal Liberal government must ensure the “historic overreach” that saw the National Energy Board pledge to consider downstream greenhouse gas emissions in its evaluation of the proposed Energy East pipeline is not repeated.

That NEB decision appears to be a key factor in TransCanada Corp.’s decision to cancel Energy East. Notley also called on the Trudeau government to play a stronger role in articulating the need for Kinder Morgan’s expansion of its Trans Mountain line to the west coast, which faces continuing opposition from British Columbia’s NDP government and some municipalities and First Nations.

“The project is in the national interest. That’s why you approved it. Canadians support that decision,” said Notley said in her prepared remarks. “Now, more than ever, Canadians need our national government to articulate and defend the national interest.”

Notley has found herself offside with many of her fellow New Democrats — including new federal leader Jagmeet Singh — over her push for pipelines.  In her speech, she said opposition from the federal NDP to pipelines jeopardizes the progressive accomplishments of her government in Alberta, including its ambitious agenda to fight climate change.

“You can’t make progress on climate if you tell working people that their jobs don’t matter,” said Notley.

“If the price of climate action is the economic security of hundreds of thousands of working people and their families, then we fail on both counts.”

Notley meanwhile called on the federal Conservatives to “please stop playing politics” and embrace the need to take action on climate change.  “Canadians won’t support energy policies based on divisive political tactics,” she said.

Notley is undertaking a series of speaking engagements across Canada to make the economic case for new pipeline development.


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