Not­ley’s out­look for Kinder Mor­gan pipe­line unswayed by un­cer­tain B.C. vote

Cape Breton Post - - Business -

Al­berta Premier Rachel Not­ley says the un­cer­tain out­come of the Bri­tish Columbia elec­tion should not change the fate of the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line ex­pan­sion.

Not­ley sup­ports the $7.4-bil­lion project pro­posed by Tex­as­based Kinder Mor­gan to triple the amount of crude that flows from the Ed­mon­ton area to the B.C. Lower Main­land.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment ap­proved the project late last year, so Not­ley doesn’t be­lieve a po­lit­i­cal shift in Al­berta’s western neigh­bour is much of a fac­tor.

“Our view is that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is the gov­ern­ment that has the de­ci­sion-mak­ing au­thor­ity and we look for­ward to sup­port­ing their work go­ing for­ward,’’ she said Friday in Cal­gary, where she was an­nounc­ing pro­vin­cial fund­ing to up­grade the bob­sled, luge and skele­ton track at Canada Olympic Park.

The B.C. elec­tion ear­lier this week left Christy Clark’s Lib­er­als just shy of a ma­jor­ity with 43 seats, but re­counts and ab­sen­tee bal­lots could change the fi­nal tally.

The NDP won 41 seats and the Green Party holds the bal­ance of power with three seats.

The B.C. NDP’s cam­paign plat­form promised to use “ev­ery tool in the tool­box’’ to stop the Trans Moun­tain project from go­ing ahead, but did not out­line how.

In an­nounc­ing his bless­ing for the Trans Moun­tain ex­pan­sion, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau praised the Not­ley gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to com­bat cli­mate change through a car­bon tax and other mea­sures.

Not­ley said she does not see Trans Moun­tain suf­fer­ing the same fate as the de­funct North­ern Gate­way project, which was granted fed­eral ap­proval in mid2014.

A court re­versed that ap­proval of the En­bridge-led project on the grounds Ot­tawa failed to ad­e­quately con­sult in­dige­nous

com­mu­ni­ties. Trudeau killed it for good on the same day he an­nounced Trans Moun­tain’s ap­proval. He also gave the green light to another pro­posed pipe­line project to the U.S. Mid­west.

“Ob­vi­ously the courts are go­ing to do what they’re go­ing to do, and that’s their job,’’ Not­ley said.

“But I feel pretty con­fi­dent that the process be­hind Kinder Mor­gan was pretty solid. And of course the case for the eco­nomic value of Kinder Mor­gan not only to Al­ber­tans, but also to Bri­tish Columbians and ul­ti­mately to

all Cana­di­ans, it is ex­cep­tion­ally strong.’’

The Al­berta and B.C. New Democrats are at odds when it comes to Trans Moun­tain.

Not­ley de­clined to en­dorse B.C. NDP Leader John Hor­gan and warned her staff not to cam­paign for him be­cause of his stance on the pipe­line, seen as key to the long-term health of the oil­sands in­dus­try and to Not­ley’s po­lit­i­cal prospects.

Hor­gan down­played the rift on the cam­paign trail by say­ing the two politi­cians agreed to dis­agree.

CP PHOTO

Pipes are seen at the Kinder Mor­gan Trans Moun­tain fa­cil­ity in Ed­mon­ton, Alta., in this file photo.

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