Not­ley vows task force will ‘end the games’ with B.C.

Nine­teen-mem­ber panel pre­pares its bat­tle plan to se­cure $7.4B ex­pan­sion

Edmonton Journal - - CITY + REGION - EMMA GRANEY egraney@post­media.com twit­ter.com/Em­maLGraney

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.

GREG SOUTHAM

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.

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