Notley gains more federal backing as Trans Mountain deadlock wears on

Notley gains more federal backing as Trans Mountain deadlock wears on
From CBC - April 15, 2018

In a crucial meeting about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Sunday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notleyreceived renewedcommitment from the federal government and continued pushback from B.C. Premier John Horgan a sign the deadlock over the project is far from being resolved.

Stepping in as mediator in a last-minute meeting in Ottawa with the premiers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeausaid he has instructed the minister of finance to begin formal discussions with Kinder Morgan to remove uncertainty surrounding the $7.4-billion project.

"I have also informed premiers Notley and Horgan today that we are actively pursuing legislative options that will assert and reinforce the government of Canada's jurisdiction in this matter, which we know we clearly have," he said, stopping short of saying his government would take a financial stake in the pipeline.

Kinder Morgan announced last weekit has suspended non-essential activities and related spending on the project, and set a deadline of May 31for the provincial and federal governments to resolve the myriad legal and politicalissues barring it from proceeding.

In a statement Sunday, Kinder Morgan said it will not issue any more updates on the status of consultation on the project until it has reached a definitive agreement by May 31.

"Our objectives are to obtain certainty with respect to the ability to construct through B.C. and for the protection of our shareholders in order to build the Trans Mountain Expansion Project," the company said in the statement.

I am quite confidentthat should these discussions end successfully, that the pipeline will be built.- Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

Notleysaid the "frank" discussion with Trudeau and Horganincluded a conversation about how the federal government and the government of Alberta have started talks with Kinder Morgan to establish a financial relationship that would eliminate investor risk.

"I am quite confident that should these discussions end successfully, that the pipeline will be built. And that is good because the project is in the national interest," Notley said.

After the meeting, Horgansaid he could not find common ground when it came to environmental impacts of the pipeline. He said he would continue to push for "gaps" in the federal government's oceans protections plan, and will continue to do soin court for a ruling about which level of government has jurisdictional authority in the case.

Jason Kenney calls meeting a 'failure'

United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney called the meeting a "failure" that was the result of a lack of responsibility and leadership by the federal Liberal government and the Alberta NDP government.

Kenney said he was looking for legal clarity in today's meeting, and that's not what came of it. Trudeau "could not be less serious" about resolving this issue, he said.

This project is one of our best and last opportunities to define ourselves as a nation that can build major projects.- TimMcMillan, president, CAPP


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