Rachel Notley's pipeline push resonates with western MPs

A speech given by Albertan Premier Rachel Notley, outlining the need for a pipeline, has struck a chord with western MPs.

Alberta premier says pipelines can be key to more efficient, diversified economy

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley spoke at the NDP national conference in Edmonton on Saturday. (CBC)

A speech given by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has struck a chord with western MPs. 

In her speech — given at the NDP's federal convention in Edmonton — Notley stood firm for a national pipeline and outlined how a pipeline can lead to a greener, more efficient and diversified economy.

Her message increases the divide with her federal NDP counterparts after delegates distanced themselves from remarks made by Tom Mulcair about keeping the oil in the ground. 

Erin Weir, the NDP MP in Regina-Lewvan, said he was encouraged by Notley's plan to diversify the economy and build social supports for people struggling through the economic downturn — something he would like to see in his home province.

The NDP claim that an independent investigation found one claim of harassment and three claims of sexual harassment against MP Erin Weir. (CBC)

Weir said he was impressed by Notley's realistic examinations of the problems facing Alberta and the sensible solutions she's putting forward.

"There are very difficult circumstances in Alberta economically, just as there are in Saskatchewan, both of our provinces have been hit by a downturn in oil, that's not the NDP fault," said Weir.

"I think what Rachel Notley articulated today was a really concrete plan to try and diversify the economy, to try to provide social supports, and to try to weather this storm caused by global commodity prices." 

Linda Duncan, Edmonton's only NDP MP, said she has been impressed by what the provincial government has been able to accomplish since being in power. 

Linda Duncan, Edmonton's only NDP MP, said she has been impressed by the provincial government. (CBC)

"I think it's pretty clear from the response of the crowd at the end of the speech ... how enthusiastic people are for about there being an NDP government in Alberta." 

Niki Ashton, the MP for Churchill, Man., said while Notley did reach out to the audience at the convention, the speech was really for Albertans. 

She believes a leader like Notley is what a province needs when they are faced with a difficult economic situation — someone that will  "stand up for [Albertan] jobs, for their livelihoods and their future."

Niki Ashton said Notley is a leader that will stand up for Alberta (CBC)

"As a fellow western representative, next door in Manitoba, I know how important it is to have representation on the serious issues that we face," said Ashton.

"I know Alberta is going through some tough times, but it's clear that folks have a premier that's on their side."   


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