Notley wants ‘bold action’ from Trudeau to get Trans Mountain back on track

by Ryan Rumbolt

 Premier Rachel Notley says it could be years before work resumes on the TransMountain pipeline without Ottawa stepping in with legislation to get the project back on track.

Speaking at the annual Pride Brunch for Camp fYrefly in Calgary on Saturday, Notley doubled down on tough talk aimed at the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party after a Federal Court of Appeal ruling on Thursday brought all construction on the project to an abrupt halt.

The court ruled the feds had not adequately consulted with First Nations on the project, and that the National Energy Board didn’t properly consider the environmental impacts of tanker traffic on the B.C. coast.

Coincidentally, Kinder Morgan shareholders overwhelmingly approved the pipeline’s sale to Ottawa at a meeting Thursday in Calgary, moments after the court ruling.

“As I’ve said before, we need to see the federal government take bold action and, if necessary, legislative action … to allow us to move forward in a more reasonable and faster way,” she said.

Notley announced Thursday the province would pull out of the federal climate plan so long as the pipeline remains stalled, meaning Alberta would not raise its current $30-per-tonne to $40 as planned in 2021 and again to $50 in 2022.

She said the move is “not about threatening, it’s not about punishing,” but rather an attempt to spur Ottawa into getting the pipeline back on track to while respecting the court’s findings.

“Listen, they bought a $4.5-billion project the same day that the court decision came down. People didn’t believe that (the federal government) had skin in the game before — I think we all know that they do now,” Notley said.

“So it’s all about how to make (the pipeline) happen fast enough so that we can enjoy the economic benefits from it in a way that helps us to continue the recovery that we’re starting to see across this province.”

Notley said the province is still committed to its own climate change leadership plan despite the move away from the federal plan.


She said any climate change plan must be “paired with very intentional efforts to build our economy, to create jobs, and to support Alberta” by completing the pipeline.

Trudeau wasn’t the only federal leader Notley took aim at, saying the “flawed” NEB process “is the product of the decisions taken by the Harper government.”

“The question is how do we fix the process so that we don’t have to restart a whole hearing process all over again in order to deal with process issues, rather than outcomes and substance issues?” she said, adding again “the federal government is going to have to use its legislative authority” to speed the process along.

Back in May, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the Trudeau government’s plan to purchased the Trans Mountain line from Kinder Morgan Canada for $4.5 billion to overcome the project’s political uncertainty.

Under the agreement, the Alberta government will put in $2 billion to help cover cost overruns in exchange for a stake in ownership.

On Twitter: @RCRumbolt

Notley wants 'bold action' from Trudeau to get Trans Mountain back on track

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