Rachel Notley stands firm for pipelines at national NDP conference
'We’re not making a choice between the environment and the economy. We are building the economy.'
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley stood firm in her support for a national pipeline on Saturday, telling delegates at her party's national conference that good climate management and energy sector growth can coexist.
Notley said Alberta's climate leadership plan supports building a greener, more efficient and diversified economy, and pipelines must be part of that future.
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Addressing those outside of Alberta, she said the way to get the best global price for our oil while producing it under an effective climate change plan is through building pipelines from Alberta to tidewater. To a standing ovation, she asked for Canadians to begin to think more "charitably" about Albertans working in the energy sector.
"We're not making a choice between the environment and the economy. We are building the economy," Notley said.
"I'm asking you to leave here more persuaded than perhaps some of us have been, that it is possible for Canada to have a forest industry, to have an agriculture industry, a mining industry, and yes, an energy industry, while being world leaders on the environment."
A week of advocating for the economy
Notley's highly-anticipated speech came after a week spent urging Canadians to stand with Alberta's wish for a national pipeline.
"Let's work together. Let's get to 'yes' on a pipeline," Notley said during an address to the United Steelworkers' national policy conference in Montreal on Friday. "It's critical to the future of our country and to the well-being of every Albertan and every Canadian."
Alberta delegates at the national NDP convention in Edmonton distanced themselves Friday from remarks made by federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair about keeping oil in the ground to help fight climate change.
There are voices in our party who want to wave all those voices away. Progressive parties of government don't let that happen.- Premier Rachel Notley
In an interview with the CBC's Peter Mansbridge that aired Wednesday, Mulcair said if party members passed a policy to keep oil and coal in the ground, and if he remained leader, he would do everything he could to make it a reality.
Deputy premier Sarah Hoffman rebuked Mulcair in the Alberta Legislature Thursday, saying she found his comments unacceptable.
"I absolutely do not agree with what Tom Mulcair said about keeping oil in the ground yesterday," Hoffman said.
"Those remarks are unacceptable, and I will certainly be there [federal NDP convention] to convey that message to membership and to make sure that they know how important it is that we get our product to market."
Mulcair stood and applauded Notley numerous times during her speech on Saturday, even as she reinforced her support for the oil industry on behalf of Albertans.
"There are voices in our party who want to wave all those voices away," Notley said.
"Progressive parties of government don't let that happen."