Edmonton

Premier Rachel Notley welcomes B.C. approval of Trans Mountain pipeline

The B.C. government’s decision to approve the Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is an important step forward in getting Alberta crude to tidewater, Premier Rachel Notley says.

Alberta 'closer than ever to breaking our land lock,' Notley tells news conference

Premier Rachel Notley thanked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government for meeting the five conditions set out by B.C. Premier Christy Clark. (CBC)

The B.C. government's decision to approve the Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is an important step forward in getting Alberta crude to tidewater, Premier Rachel Notley says.

"We are closer than ever to breaking our land lock and fixing a problem that has dogged our province for decades," Notley said in a news conference at the Alberta legislature.

On Wednesday, B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman issued environmental assessment approval for the project, with 37 conditions.

Premier Christy Clark said the five conditions she set down several years ago for the project's approval have been met. 

Notley thanked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government for meeting those conditions. She said she respects B.C.'s environmental review and the province's desire to ensure its citizens share in the economic benefits of the pipeline. 

'World class environmental standards'

She also credited her government's climate change plan for getting the federal and B.C. governments to approve the project. 

"World-class environmental standards and a strong economy that benefits working people must go hand in hand," Notley said.

"So I've been pleased to work with both Premier Clark and Prime Minister Trudeau to advance and defend these values and to make sure these values are part of our national conversation.

"The Kinder Morgan pipeline offers us an historic opportunity to demonstrate that these values can and must go hand in hand."

Notley said the project resulted in British Columbia getting an additional $1.5 billion in marine safety measures from the federal government. Notley said there are still hurdles to overcome but she is hopeful construction will start this fall. 

"No, it's not built yet. We get that," she said. "But we are making progress and I don't think anybody can deny that."

While Notley acknowledges there is opposition to the project in B.C., many will be supportive, especially with the promised upgrades to marine safety.

The project, which twins an existing pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., was approved by the federal cabinet at the end of November.

The conditions from the B.C. government are in addition to the 157 laid out by the National Energy Board.

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