Edmonton

Rachel Notley warns caucus members not to campaign for B.C. NDP

Alberta premier will not support B.C. counterparts because of Trans Mountain pipeline opposition

John Horgan

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan holds up a jar of bitumen on Jan. 11, 2017 as he tells reporters the risks in approving the Trans Mountain pipeline are too great. (Richard Zussman/CBC)

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Alberta's NDP premier has a message for anyone in her government who is thinking of going to British Columbia to campaign for the New Democrats in that province's election: Think again.

The B.C. NDP are locked in a tight election campaign and one of the party's key planks is opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta through B.C.

It's fairly common for members from different provincial wings of the same party to help in each other's campaigns.

But Premier Rachel Notley says it would be difficult for anybody who works for her government to support candidates that oppose a project so crucial to Alberta's interest.

The B.C. Liberals are seeking re-election after supporting the pipeline, while the B.C. Greens also oppose it.

Critics say the pipeline will mean increased tanker traffic off the West Coast and fear it will lead to further expansion of Alberta's oilsands.

"It's difficult for one to be working for our government and also supporting candidates who would be opposed to the successful construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline," Notley said Thursday.

"We see that as being critical to our economic prosperity and growth in this province. That is the message that has been delivered and I trust that people will follow it."

Horgan responds

Horgan shrugged off Notley's message while on the campaign trail in Penticton, B.C. Thursday.

He said his team has more than enough staff and volunteers to run his campaign — with or without the help of Notley's caucus.

"Certainly, Ms. Notley is running a government and I'll leave her to make her decisions," said Horgan.

"We've got a fully staffed campaign. We've got resources in every corner of the province. I'm delighted with the team we've got. We're 26 days away from forming the next government of B.C." 

Trans Mountain

Kinder Morgan's $6.8-billion, 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain pipeline will move a mix of oil products from Edmonton to a terminal in Burnaby, B.C. near Vancouver, where it will be exported to markets in Asia. (CBC)

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