Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she’s confident Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will be built, despite opposition from politicians, environmental groups and First Nations communities in British Columbia.
The premier’s comments come just days after the Trudeau government approved the Trans Mountain and Line 3 projects, while rejecting Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline.
“I think the case to be made for Kinder Morgan is a very, very strong one,” Notley told News Talk 770’s Danielle Smith on Thursday.
The premier said she believes the process the Trudeau government followed, before arriving at its decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, will stand up to a legal challenge.
Notley said Trans Mountain is different from the Northern Gateway pipeline, which did not receive the Trudeau administration’s seal of approval.
The Federal Court of Appeal overturned the previous government’s approval of that controversial pipeline project in June because it said the government fell short on its duty to consult aboriginal people. The Harper government originally approved the pipeline in June 2014 with conditions, following a review into its environmental impact.
The premier said opposition against Trans Mountain is not just in B.C. and is urging those opposed to the project to look past their short-term political interest. She says the province’s cap on emissions will remain in place even after the pipeline expansion is built.
“People who are concerned about the pipeline on that basis, need not be concerned about Kinder Morgan for those reasons, because it just doesn’t have that impact.”
Notley also downplayed the rift between the federal and Alberta NDP and between her government and its own oilsands advisory committee. She said committee members would remain on the panel despite speaking out against the recent pipeline approvals.
“You don’t create an echo chamber and then remove everybody that disagrees with you,” she said. “If they were involved in any way in the deliberations on pipeline approval then that would be a problem. But, they’re not.”
Notley said the itinerary for her upcoming trip to B.C. has not been finalized and that she doesn’t believe a ‘quid pro quo’ would be productive when speaking to B.C. Premier Christy Clark.
“I think, as we’ve heard before, she said that she sees a path to yes on this. I think she’s having productive conversations with Kinder Morgan, I think she’s having productive conversations with the federal government.”
LISTEN BELOW: Premier Rachel Notley on pipeline approvals, the economy, carbon pricing and her upcoming trip to B.C.