Notley giving BC space but not ruling out any options in pipeline

first_imgAlberta Premier Rachel Notley says she’s giving the British Columbia government “space” as it consults with its federal counterparts, but warned she isn’t limiting what measures she’d take in the ongoing dispute over the Trans Mountain pipeline.“There are no options that we are ruling out,” Notley said when asked about further measures, including potentially stopping the current flow of oil in the Kinder Morgan pipeline.“Part of the point of a strategic rollout of options is to do it on a strategic basis, so I’m not going to speculate about which option will come into play at which time.”Notley said Monday she won’t pursue further measures as conversations between the federal government and B.C. continue.“We’re going to give them a little bit of space, we’re not certainly going to wait indefinitely, and we’re going to assess it every day as we see what kinds of signals we get from B.C. and out of the federal government,” she said.She also said she’ll be meeting later this week with her newly-established task force to go over next options.The members include former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna, former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, former Syncrude Canada president Jim Carter and noted legal scholar Peter Hogg.The Alberta government has already suspended talks regarding selling electricity to B.C. and recently moved to ban the import of B.C. wine.The moves came after B.C. Premier John Horgan announced his government’s intention to ban increased bitumen imports through pipelines and conduct consultations about spill cleanup.This has been Notley’s main argument regarding the dispute, saying B.C. does not have the authority – which belongs to the feds – over what goes into a pipeline and how much.Horgan said last week that he won’t be distracted by Notley’s trade attempts and that he does have the law on his side.“We are currently in court with respect to the Kinder Morgan process, the pipeline, and until we get a resolution from the federal court, that is an option question,” he said. “When it comes to our right, my right as the premier, Georges (Heyman) right as the minister of environment to consult with British Columbians about putting in place protections for our environment and our economy, I see no ground for the premier to stand on.”Notley said it’s encouraged that B.C. and other provinces consult with their citizens, but the issue is how those attempts to consult could delay or potentially end a project that’s already been approved, in part according to the prime minister because of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan.But Horgan has said he stands by his position.“At this point, all we’ve done is announce our intention to consult with British Columbians,” he said. “Our court case focuses on what we believe was a lack of due attention by the National Energy Board to the interest of British Columbia in making their determination.”United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney has also been pushing for an emergency meeting in the legislature to discuss the issue, promising a bipartisan conversation to figure out where to go from here.Notley said she appreciated Kenney’s support, but isn’t calling such a meeting.“I think that what we need to do is not be talking to each other inside this building, but rather speaking to people across this country about the import of our position,” she said.Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr responded to a Conservative motion calling on the government to use every tool to get the pipeline expansion built and to report to Parliament of its plans by Thursday.Carr said the Conservatives were trying to manufacture a crisis and that the Liberals wouldn’t allow any attempts to stall or stop the project.But when Notley was asked if there’s if she’s hoping to hear more from the federal NDP, she was blunt.“Not really, no,” she said.– with files from the Canadian Presslast_img