Brad Wall defends Energy East support, downplays spat with Alberta premier

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall expects to see a national energy strategy by the end of the day on Friday, as discussions continue in St. John's.

Canadian environmental record better than Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Wall insists

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall wants other premiers to support an west-east oil pipeline, and says it's time for other provinces to stop treating the oil industry as a liability. (CBC)

Despite a verbal spat with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Premier Brad Wall says he stands by his support of the proposed Transcanada Energy East pipeline, a 4,600-kilometre project that will use new and existing pipelines to move western Canadian oil to the east coast for shipment abroad.

The friction between the two premiers emerged after Wall suggested on Thursday that Notley is handing a veto to Quebec by seeking that province's input on Alberta's environmental policy vis-à-vis its oil industry. 

Wall and Notley have been meeting this week as part of the annual summer premiers' conference, held this year in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Wall has been touting western Canadian oil and western Canada's energy sector at the conference. 

Notley suggested that Wall and others are doing a "little bit of showboating," while she has been focused on finding consensus with the other provinces.

"If standing up for my province and for an industry that creates thousands of jobs for western Canadians is showboating, show me the bridge," Wall told CBC on Thursday, "because I'll do it every single time."

We've invested more, per capita, on CO2 mitigation than anywhere else in Canada.- Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall

Wall said the oil industry has been treated as a liability in discussions on a Canadian energy strategy at this year's conference. 

In an interview Friday morning, he also defended Saskatchewan's environmental record.

"In our province, we've invested more, per capita, on CO2 mitigation than anywhere else in Canada, frankly, through the project at Boundary Dam. We can always do better but we have a solid record," he said. 

Wall noted that Canada, among the top three oil reserve countries in the world, has the most preferable environmental record ahead of the other two: Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

Regardless of the friction between himself and Notley, Wall said he's optimistic that there will be an agreed-upon national energy strategy by the end of the day Friday. 

"I'm optimistic we'll have a document here, and I think it'll be a document that recognizes the importance of moving energy across the country," he said.


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