Premier Rachel Notley has a tough job ahead of her: selling fellow New Democrats in B.C. on Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion.
Some of the most vocal criticism of the project — approved by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday — is coming from NDP MPs and supporters. Some call the approval a “betrayal” of British Columbians, but Notley is prepared to make a strong case in support of the project.
“We have to move towards that renewable future, but we can’t do it by throwing people to the curb and embracing a jobless transition. That doesn’t work,” Notley told reporters Wednesday morning via conference call from Ottawa, where she met with Trudeau Tuesday afternoon after the prime minister announced approval for the project. “And so it’s a question of doing both in tandem, thoughtfully, in a measured way. That’s what we’re doing and that’s the case I’ll make.”
Notley hopes to go to B.C. as early as next week. She says she will point out that Alberta is already acting on multiple fronts to reduce greenhouse gases, including capping emissions from the oilsands.
“With or without the Kinder Morgan expansion, the amount of oil and gas products that come out of the oilsands will be the same. The Kinder Morgan pipeline — what it does, is it increases safety and it increases the return for Albertans and, frankly, all Canadians. But it doesn’t increase the volume.”
The $6.8-billion Trans Mountain project would triple the capacity of an existing line to take crude from the Edmonton area to Burnaby, B.C.
Trudeau also shelved the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline across northwestern B.C. and said legislation banning tankers on B.C.’s northwest Pacific coast is coming soon. (bd, with files from The Canadian Press)