Notley pushes for progress in BC pipeline dispute


Notley offered few details on what exactly the province plans to do next in response to the British Columbia government's proposal to introduce changes to its Environmental Management Act that could restrict the movement of oil through the province via pipeline or rail, threatening to delay or quash the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

Notley said she will give the feds a little more time to resolve the issue, but not too much.

She'll give the two governments space to talk, but they shouldn't expect long.

She introduced an opposition motion in the House of Commons on Monday calling on the federal government to make public no later than February 15, its specific plan to get the pipeline built.

The Alberta government has formed a task force to deal with retaliatory measures against B.C. It will meet later this week, and Notley said it's not ruling out any options. But it will have to be a solution that removes the threat of B.C. delaying the project.

"I think that what we need to do is not be talking to each other inside this building, but rather speaking to people across this country about the import of our position, and so that's what we're going to do".

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The expansion of the pipeline falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet ministers have stated they continue to support the project, evidence of their commitment leaves a lot to be desired.

The value of the goods exported to Alberta exceeded B.C. exports to China in 2013 ($6.6 billion), according to the Business Council of BC. About 95 per cent of Canadian wine sold in Alberta liquor stores comes from B.C.

Last week, B.C. said it planned to review limits on diluted bitumen shipments over concerns about a possible oil spill - a risk the province fears would spell disaster for its environment and economy.

In the days that followed that announcement, Notley called it "political game-playing", and said electricity purchase talks with B.C. would be suspended.

"If we want to get our resources out to market, we have some incredibly powerful voices on our side".

Opposition leader Jason Kenney wants an emergency debate on the province's pipeline dispute with British Columbia. However, Notley has already claimed B.C.'s actions against the pipeline are unconstitutional, eye for an eye?

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Trudeau's government has said the project will proceed.

It's one way to encourage consumption of a product by businesses who say they have nothing to do with the spat between Alberta and B.C.

"We're getting ready for a throne speech and a spring session and a budget, and my focus is on Alberta", she said.

But Notley said it's clear constitutionally that Ottawa has the final say on interprovincial projects like pipelines.

"I have said all along that we live in a country that enjoys all of the freedoms to protest".

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