Alberta premier fed up with federal inaction on Trans Mountain pipeline

Rachel Notley said partisanship should have nothing to do with support for the resource sector

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley expressed frustration again Monday about a lack of progress in completing the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Notley’s comments came after a federal cabinet shuffle that left Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi in his portfolio.

She said that’s probably a good thing as removing Sohi before the outcome of a court-ordered Indigenous consultation by the National Engery Board would be likely to cause even further delay.

“Albertans still need the federal government to step up and support the industry while we are trying to get through this ridiculousness of having not enough capacity to get our oil and gas to market,” Notley said.

“We’ve talked about that. We’ve talked about rail. We’ve talked about other interim programs that could come into place, and we’re disappointed we’ve not heard anything from the federal government yet.”

Notley announced late last year that her government will buy rail cars to transport an additional 120,000 barrels a day, which would increase the amount of oil being moved by rail in Canada by one- third.

Discussions about a purchase agreement are ongoing, she said.

READ MORE: ‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

She was asked whether the current Liberal government should receive another mandate from voters in a federal election expected later this year.

“The facts of the matter is that the previous government, which happened to be from a different political party, also didn’t get it done,” she said.

“Quite honestly, the considerations that have led to the ridiculousness that Albertans are so frustrated with right now … has been in the making for decades.”

The federal government bought Trans Mountain and its expansion project for $4.5 billion last summer only to have the Federal Court of Appeal strike down the energy board’s approval. The court said there had been inadequate Indigenous consultation and failure to consider impacts on the marine environment.

The board’s final report needs to be submitted to the federal cabinet by Feb. 22.

Notley said partisanship should have nothing to do with support for the resource sector, which is an economic engine for the rest of Canada.

The current federal government has at least accomplished one thing, she said.

“There was decades of factors that were at play which led to the instability that jeopardized that project. We did get the federal government to buy the pipeline. That’s not nothing. There is a vested interest they have now in getting this darn thing built.”

Bill Graveland, 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

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Alberni Valley, West Coast First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Kitchen fire sends one to hospital in Port Alberni

Apartment block evacuated after sprinkler system was set off

Qualicum Beach man arrested over racist incident at Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP said the man turned himself in

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read