Notley hails energy board ruling on West Coast pipeline expansion
Premier Rachel Notley praised a decision Thursday by the National Energy Board that tipped the scale in favour of Kinder Morgan’s West Coast pipeline expansion.
“It probably means that the NEB has accepted our argument that ... this is a project that is in the national interest ... We can’t have individual jurisdictions interfering with it,” she told reporters Thursday afternoon.
The NEB ruled that the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain project won’t have to comply with two sections of the City of Burnaby’s bylaws. The company argued the city was stalling construction on a federally approved project.
“We obviously will look very closely at the reasons behind the decision and we hope the additional matters the NEB are considering will also count in our favour,” Notley added. “It’s a really good step forward.”
Hours earlier, Notley was delivering her pro-pipeline message in a speech to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.
“As I like to say — and you may have heard me say it — there is a not a school, hospital, road, bus, bike lane or port anywhere in the country that does not owe something to Alberta’s energy industry,” she told the crowd at the Shaw Conference Centre.
Outside, a small contingent of protesters gathered with signs reading “Panels not pipelines” and other messages advocating for renewable energy.
“I’m here as a concerned Albertan,” said Elauna Boutwell, who added the group wasn’t affiliated with an organization. “We want Notley just to be aware … that not all Albertans are for the pipeline.”
Notley’s speech was the final stop in a cross-country tour advocating for the Trans Mountain pipeline in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. She said her visit to B.C. — where she spoke at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s annual energy forum last week — was an effort to engage with the public, not politicians.
“It was … to educate British Columbians generally about why Alberta’s energy industry is so important to their economy as well as the national economy,” Notley told reporters.
Kinder Morgan has said the project is already months behind and further delays could threaten its viability.
Protesters gatherer outside the Shaw Conference Centre on Thursday as Premier Rachel Notley speaks to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce inside.