En­viro-ac­tivist squares off with Not­ley

‘We ride horses, not uni­corns’ Alta. premier tells pipe­line foes

Toronto Star - - CANADA - DEAN BEN­NETT

ED­MON­TON— Al­berta Premier Rachel Not­ley, with her arch pipe­line foe sit­ting just a few feet away in the front row, com­pared Trans Moun­tain pro­test­ers Satur­day to dewy-eyed uni­corn jock­eys from Salt Spring Is­land, B.C.

“I would say to those who op­pose our fight to build this pipe­line, that they are be­ing ex­tremely fool­ish,” Not­ley said in a speech to a teach­ers con­ven­tion.

“Maybe on Salt Spring Is­land you can build an econ­omy on con­dos and cof­fee shops, but not in Ed­mon­ton and not any­where in Al­berta. Here in Al­berta, we ride horses — not uni­corns — and I in­vite pipe­line op­po­nents to sad­dle up on some­thing that is real.”

Not­ley was re­but­ting a sched­uled speech made ear­lier in the day to the Al­berta Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion by en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivist Tzepo­rah Ber­man, who lis­tened in­tently to Not­ley’s speech and ap­plauded at the end.

Ber­man, who is also an aca­demic and pol­icy ad­viser, has come to sym­bol­ize the di­vi­sive de­bate in Al­berta over how to bal­ance en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship with its re­source-de­pen­dent econ­omy.

She is a former ad­viser to the prov­ince on oil­sands pol­icy un­der Not­ley, but has be­come a po­lit­i­cal light­ning rod for her com­ments de­nounc­ing the Trans Moun­tain line ex­pan­sion, which would take more oil from Al­berta to the B.C. coast.

In her speech, Ber­man said strik­ing a bal­ance is al­ready com­plex but has been made worse by pub­lic dis­course suf­fused with hate and po­lar­ized ide­olo­gies on both sides.

She said the time is now to act on cli­mate change, as tem­per­a­tures rise and the world faces the dis­place­ment of mil­lions due to re­sul­tant droughts, floods, weather dis­as­ters and food short­ages.

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