Notley vows task force will ‘end the games’ with B.C.
Nineteen-member panel prepares its battle plan to secure $7.4B expansion
A 19-member panel will “end the games” British Columbia insists on playing with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Premier Rachel Notley said Wednesday as the group gathered for its first meeting in Edmonton.
Sitting around the cabinet table inside the legislature or beamed in via Skype, the 19-member market access task force prepared to figure out possible retaliatory steps and hash out plans of attack in the face of any future attempts to frustrate the $7.4-billion project, Notley said.
“Make no mistake — we are not standing still,” she told the group.
“This project was approved in the national interest and it must be built in the national interest. We are not going to stand down until that happens.”
When it comes to protecting Canada’s coastlines, she said, Alberta is with B.C. 100 per cent.
“The issue is, however, that B.C. cannot pretend they are not part of the country. They don’t get to assume rights that they don’t have,” she said.
Task force member and former Syncrude president Jim Carter had his lips sealed about what next moves might be, but said nothing had been ruled out.
“You’ve got to be concerned about collateral damage ... but we also need to be able to get the right people’s attention so that we can get in the room and find a solution,” he said.
Carter applauded the Alberta government’s B.C. wine boycott, but said the dispute isn’t just between those two provinces.
“This is about moving the whole country forward,” he said.
The panel also includes former federal Liberal deputy prime minister Anne McLellan and former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna.
On Tuesday, the province unveiled a website for Albertans to explain to Canadians the importance of the pipeline expansion, called Keep Canada Working.
Late last month, B.C. Premier John Horgan said his province would restrict increases in bitumen shipments from Alberta until more spill response studies are conducted.
The problem is, provinces don’t have the authority to regulate what goes through pipelines — that’s for the federal government.
Horgan’s government originally announced that the ban would be in place while it studies spill safety measures. But on Tuesday he told reporters it was never the intention to have the ban in place during consultation.
WHO’S WHO ON THE PANEL
Ministers and staff: Premier Rachel Notley, Deron Bilous (economic development and trade minister), Margaret McCuaig-Boyd (energy minister), Shannon Phillips (environment minister) and Nathan Rotman (premier’s chief of staff ). Deputy ministers: Marcia Nelson (executive council deputy minister), Ray Gilmour (executive council associate deputy minister), Phil Bryden ( justice deputy minister), Jason Krips (economic development and trade deputy minister), Eric Denhoff (Alberta climate change office deputy minister) and Corey Hogan (communication and public engagement deputy minister).
Non-government members: Frank McKenna (TD Bank Group, former New Brunswick premier), Anne McLellan (former deputy prime minister and minister of natural resources), Jim Carter (ATB Financial and former Syncrude president), Peter Hogg (Blakes scholar in residence), Peter Tertzakian (Arc Financial), Trevor Tombe (University of Calgary economist), Ginny Flood (Suncor) and Janet Annesley (Husky).
This project ... must be built in the national interest. We are not going to stand down until that happens.
Former Syncrude Canada president Jim Carter listens as Premier Rachel Notley speaks at the first meeting of the Market Access Task Force in Edmonton on Wednesday.