Pre­mier vows to con­tinue work with B.C. gov­ern­ment af­ter elec­tion splits power

Edmonton Journal - - CITY - EMMA GRANEY egraney@post­

Pre­mier Rachel Not­ley had in­tended to be­gin a Wed­nes­day morn­ing speech at the Cana­dian Labour Congress in Toronto by con­grat­u­lat­ing the clear pre­mier-elect of Bri­tish Columbia.

In­stead, she started by thank­ing the peo­ple of B.C. for two things — cre­at­ing an “in­ter­est­ing day” as Cana­di­ans ab­sorb the re­al­ity of the province’s split po­lit­i­cal power base, and pro­vid­ing “decades worth of cau­tion­ary tales” to elec­tion day or­ga­niz­ers about the im­por­tance of each and ev­ery vote.

Tues­day’s his­toric elec­tion in the west­ern­most province has plunged Al­berta’s neigh­bours into the kind of un­cer­tain mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment not seen in 65 years, al­though Lib­eral Leader Christy Clark has vowed to keep on as pre­mier.

Not­ley told the labour crowd Wed­nes­day she’s ea­ger to work with Clark, NDP Leader John Hor­gan and B.C. Green Party Leader An­drew Weaver as they em­bark on what they have all de­scribed as a new way of gov­ern­ing B.C.

“My gov­ern­ment looks for­ward to work­ing with B.C. on our shared pri­or­i­ties, help­ing to build a Canada that works for work­ing peo­ple with good jobs, eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity and trade be­tween our provinces,” she said.


The big is­sue fac­ing Al­berta as Bri­tish Columbians head­ing to the polls Tues­day was the fu­ture of the Kin­der Mor­gan Trans Moun­tain pipe­line ex­pan­sion, given the green light by Ot­tawa last year.

The B.C. New Demo­crat and Green par­ties are op­posed to the pipe­line, but Not­ley said last week a po­ten­tial new gov­ern­ment there would have few mech­a­nisms to re­verse the de­ci­sion.

She also re­mained con­vinced in the strength of her NDP gov­ern­ment’s pro-pipe­line mes­sage, and pledged to keep sell­ing it to our west­ern neigh­bours as the elec­tion rhetoric dies down.

That mes­sag­ing was in full swing in Toronto, where Not­ley was al­ready tar­get­ing Bri­tish Columbians as she de­liv­ered her speech.

The Trans Moun­tain pipe­line, she said, is crit­i­cal to the well­be­ing of all Cana­di­ans, cre­at­ing thou­sands of much-needed jobs right away in B.C., Al­berta and across the coun­try. Those jobs will be par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties and B.C.’s In­te­rior dur­ing soft­wood lum­ber talks.

The Trans Moun­tain ex­pan­sion would twin an ex­ist­ing oil pipe­line to Burn­aby, B.C., from Ed­mon­ton, tripling Kin­der Mor­gan’s oil ca­pac­ity to 890,000 bar­rels a day and in­creas­ing oil-tanker traf­fic in the ocean off Metro Van­cou­ver.

Not­ley also took the chance to ped­dle her gov­ern­ment’s cli­mate lead­er­ship plan, which de-links pipe­lines from in­creas­ing green­house gas emis­sions by in­clud­ing an emis­sions cap.

“The Trans Moun­tain pipe­line al­lows Al­berta the op­por­tu­nity to move to­ward a lower-car­bon econ­omy,” she said. “Sim­ply put, Al­berta can­not be a cli­mate-change leader if our econ­omy is put in a strait­jacket, un­able to ac­cess new cus­tomers for our en­ergy prod­ucts.”

Sim­ply put, Al­berta can­not be a cli­mat­e­change leader if our econ­omy is put in a strait­jacket, un­able to ac­cess new cus­tomers.


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