British Columbia

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says pipeline will boost B.C.'s GDP by $1B

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project will provide a billion dollar bump to B.C.'s GDP.

Notley spoke with CBC Radio host Rick Cluff on The Early Edition

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project will provide an extra $1 billion bump to the B.C. economy without increasing greenhouse gas emissions. (CBC)

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline has significant economic benefits for B.C.

Notley was in Vancouver Tuesday to convince British Columbians to support the controversial pipeline expansion project, which received federal approval last week.

She told CBC Radio host Rick Cluff on the CBC's The Early Edition the project strikes a strong balance between environmental and economic concerns.

"We're taking steps to be a responsible, sustainable energy producer. We should be able to sell that product and take the benefits of that to reinvest in the diversification and greening of the economy in Canada that we need," she said.

The pipeline would provide a $1 billion bump to B.C.'s GDP without increasing greenhouse gas emissions, she said, pointing out Alberta recently introduced legislation to cap emissions.

Big market overseas

Notley said oil and gas already account for 20 per cent of Canada's exports and she said the biggest and most profitable market lies overseas, not south of the border where most of Canada's oil exports currently end up.

Notley said people don't realize the close link between the Alberta and B.C. economies.

"In 2012, we had 44,000 people who lived in B.C., who paid taxes in B.C. who actually earned their incomes in Alberta, most of which we believe was in the oil and gas sector."

She said it would be unfair and unreasonable to suddenly put oil and gas workers — about a quarter million Canadians in total according to Notley — at risk with a sudden switch to green energy.

"You have to have the money to invest [in other energy sectors]. You need to turn that ship carefully and slowly ... It's a carefully balanced path we need to follow."

Some observers say Notley will have a hard time trying to convince British Columbians to support the controversial pipeline project.

Provincial Green Leader Andrew Weaver said there is no way the Premier will win the support of the majority of British Columbians because Kinder Morgan's project will dramatically increase tanker traffic off the coast.

Pipeline opponents in B.C. — such as the Dogwood Initiative — have already started canvassing the public to put the controversial pipeline project to a provincial referendum.

First Nations groups are also preparing for a number of legal challenges to the project.

To listen to the audio, click on the link labelled Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on The Early Edition

Corrections

  • A previous version of this article misquoted Premier Rachel Notley as saying, "In 2012, we had 4,000 people who lived in B.C., who paid taxes in B.C. who actually earned their incomes in Alberta". That number is actually 44,000.
    Dec 06, 2016 8:58 AM PT

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