Alberta premier centre stage at Council of the Federation meeting

Pipelines are expected to be much discussed Thursday when Alberta Premier Rachel Notley makes her first appearance at an annual gathering of Canada's premiers in St. John's, N.L.

Energy East project could be on table as premiers sit down for day-long talks

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley met with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard on Tuesday before both headed for the Council of the Federation meeting in St. John's. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

Pipelines are expected to be much discussed Thursday when Alberta Premier Rachel Notley makes her first appearance at an annual gathering of Canada's premiers in St. John's, N.L.

The Council of the Federation brings together provincial and territorial leaders to focus on issues ranging from interprovincial trade to oil and gas pipelines.

And it's the contentious issue of those pipelines that could cement relationships or create fissures.

In a pre-emptive declaration on Wednesday, outspoken Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall condemned what he viewed as Quebec's meddling in the climate change policies of other provinces.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has already raised concerns about the proposed Energy East pipeline, because of its potential impact on climate change, and because his province will not benefit financially.

"I am convinced that we have found a new ally in Ms. Notley," Couillard said in a statement after private meeting with Alberta's premier earlier this week.

Notley hasn't said if she'll sign on to a proposed National Energy Strategy agreement.

A draft of the proposed strategy was leaked to the media earlier this week. In it are proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without committing to reduced intensity targets.

Negotiations on the proposed agreement are well underway.

After an invitation-only reception in St. John's Wednesday night, premiers broke for private dinners throughout the city.

Premiers will hold day-long meetings on Thursday.


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