The House

Pipeline battle short-term pain for long-term gain, Alberta premier says

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the economic benefits from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are worth dealing with the roadblocks from her British Columbia counterpart.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the Trans Mountain expansion feud with British Columbia is worth fighting through because of the economic benefits. (CBC)
Listen9:34

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the economic benefits from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are worth dealing with the roadblocks from her British Columbia counterpart.

Notley has floated the idea of turning off the oil taps if B.C. continues to employ tactics to attempt to delay construction of the expansion.

For weeks, the two provinces have been feuding over the pipeline, dealing blows to each other's economies to the point where the federal government has vowed to step in.  

"Sometimes you have to engage in a little bit of short-term pain in order to assert long-term gain," Notley told The House.

Her government has hedged the success of parts of their 2018 budget on income from new pipeline projects in the province.

They have "comfortable" fiscal wiggle room even if there are issues with the pipelines, she said, but that doesn't discount the importance of seeing the expansion go through.

Notley added they've made provisions should B.C. continue to stall the project, but she hopes they don't have to employ them. She didn't expand on what that contingency plan might look like.

The election might not be until next year... But this week's budget in Alberta did highlight a crucial reality for Rachel Notley's government: the NDP government's future -- and its plan to return to balance -- depend in large part on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project. The one STILL at the heart of a heated dispute with British Columbia. The Premier of Alberta, Rachel Notley, joins us. 9:34