Pipeline pitch: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley heads to B.C.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is headed to British Columbia today to promote Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notley will visit Vancouver on Monday and Tuesday on short media tour

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to reporters on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday. Notley is heading to British Columbia on Monday to make the case for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is headed to British Columbia today to promote Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notley will visit Vancouver on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the project's economic and environmental benefits, the premier's office said in a statement Monday.

"British Columbia and Alberta share deep ties and common values," Notley said in the statement.

"We all want good jobs, a clean environment and opportunities for our kids and grandkids. The Kinder Morgan pipeline offers an opportunity to show that a strong economy that benefits working families and world-class environmental standards go hand in hand.

"I look forward to having thoughtful and constructive conversations about the mutual benefits the project will bring to our two provinces." 

The event is described as a media tour, with Notley scheduled to speak with the region's biggest news outlets.

However, Notley will have to wait to meet with her counterpart, B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

"Schedules didn't allow a bilateral meeting with B.C. while we're there," Notley's spokeswoman, Cheryl Oates, said in an email to CBC News.

"But Premier Notley will meet Premier Clark in Ottawa, as they are both there for the first ministers' meeting later this week."

Notley may be entering hostile territory during her visit. The Trans Mountain pipeline — planned to carry billions of barrels of oil to ports on the West Coast — faces stiff opposition in B.C.

The pipeline still has to clear regulatory hurdles. B.C. politicians and First Nations groups have expressed their opposition, along with plans to fight the decision in court.

If constructed, the project would triple the bitumen-carrying capacity of the pipeline from Strathcona County to Burnaby, and increase the number of tankers leaving the Vancouver area.

Notley said Wednesday that it's important for her to go to B.C. and tell people who link the pipeline with climate change and greenhouse gas that Alberta's climate change leadership plan "effectively de-linked those issues."

Notley's government is making changes to environmental, electrical and tax rules to reduce Alberta's greenhouse gas emissions and move toward renewable energy sources.

The B.C. government's support for Trans Mountain will hinge on whether the province gets a share of the revenues,  Clark said at a news conference last week.

Commenting on the federal approvals for the first time, Clark said the proposal must meet all five of B.C.'s requirements for new pipeline projects in order to garner provincial approval.

Those conditions include world-leading practices for pipeline spill prevention, legal requirements that ensure Indigenous and treaty rights are addressed, and assurances that British Columbia will receive its "fair share" of the revenues.

Kinder Morgan forecasts the expansion project will deliver an additional $46.7 billion in revenues for all levels of government in the first 20 years. The bulk, $19.4 billion, would flow to Alberta.


Wallis Snowdon is a journalist with CBC Edmonton focused on bringing stories to the website and the airwaves. Originally from New Brunswick, Wallis has reported in communities across Canada, from Halifax to Fort McMurray. She previously worked as a digital and current affairs producer with CBC Radio in Edmonton. Share your stories with Wallis at wallis.snowdon@cbc.ca.

With files from the Canadian Press