The Premier of Alberta took some time to comment on the issue of pipelines in a post-election media conference that took place last week, and also said that her Energy Minister is looking forward to discussions with her federal counterpart on this topic.
Diversification in this area is something Rachel Notley says she has been talking about since taking office and she sounded hopeful that the new Liberal government is on the same page when it comes to this approach.
“I think that there is some common cause there. Mr. Trudeau has talked about the need to diversify our markets, and of course, I’ve spoken about the need to diversify our markets,” Notley said. “I know our Energy Minister is looking forward to the opportunity to work with the new federal Energy Minister on that file, because not only does that benefit Albertans but it benefits all Canadians.”
Premier Notley explained that Alberta is an economic driver for Canada as a whole and that there is no question that Alberta’s Energy Minister will take that position to Ottawa. She also says that she will represent that position personally at every opportunity when the first ministers begin meeting for discussions.
One project in particular, the Keystone XL pipeline, is a project that Trudeau expressed support for. Notley has been vocal in the fact that she doesn’t support Keystone but says that the Prime Minister designate does, at least in principle, support the other projects she would like to see move forward.
“As I’ve said before, our focus with our government is to expand our access to markets in a way that allows us to maintain as much flexibility and economic room, shall we say, as possible to enhance upgrading where possible in our province,” she said. “So I’ve talked about the pipelines that I’d like to see us move forward on, and I know that Mr. Trudeau agrees in principle on those pipelines, so we’re going to sit down and talk to his folks about those pipelines and we’ll see where we go from there.”
However, when asked more specifically about the areas where the Alberta NDP and Federal Liberals might have differences and agreements on pipeline issues, the Premier was hesitant to jump the gun, not wanting to speculate too early on in the game.
“I think that’s a little complex…but as I’ve always said, I think one of the key things that we can do as a province, that I think will get more support from the government, is to ensure that we do our homework in terms of our environmental record and our climate change strategy,” Notley said.
“Because that way we could talk in other jurisdictions about that issue of social license and ensuring that people see the economic benefits of our export and that they’re not lost in a difficult discussion.”