EDMONTON — Alberta’s two main political rivals had opposing messages about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion during their election campaigns Monday.
NDP Leader Rachel Notley said she expects Ottawa to approve the expansion by the end of May, while United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney suggested Notley is in a “phoney fight” for pipelines.
In an election campaign stop with energy workers in Edmonton, Notley said the province is closer than ever to getting the pipeline.
“Mark my words: this pipeline will get built,” she said. “It has been the fight of my life and I will not stop until the job is done.
“We are this close, this close to getting that pipeline back under construction. In fact, we expect an approval from the federal government by the end of next month.”
The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain line on Feb. 22, which started the clock on a 90-day period for the federal government to decide whether the project should proceed.
Vanessa Adams, press secretary to federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi, said Ottawa continues to consult with Indigenous communities.
“To date, our teams have met with over 100 communities and are actively engaging in meaningful, two-way dialogue,” she said in an emailed statement. “We are making important progress each week.”
Adams said the government is mindful of the time frame for a decision, but is focused on meeting its obligation to consult.
“We must get that right,” she said.
Notley said she’s confident the pipeline approval will come.
“Public opinion is fully behind it,” she said. “The recommendations of the NEB have addressed all of the issues … the position of the industry here and the fact it’s paired with an emissions cap in the oilsands — all of these things address all of the critical objections that have been made in the past.
“We’ve got growing support from Indigenous groups across this province and into B.C. who want in on the pipeline deal.”
Notley said about seven in 10 Canadians now support the project because they understand it would support jobs and a strong economy.
She said that if her party were to be re-elected April 16, she would continue to stand up for Alberta’s energy industry.
In a speech in Medicine Hat, United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney said Notley has sold the province out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government.
“Our premier is pretending,” Kenney said. “The real fight of the NDP’s life has been against the pipeline, against energy jobs, against oil and gas.”
He suggested the NDP hasn’t been genuine.
“They opposed Northern Gateway. They folded on Energy East. They opposed Keystone XL. They did nothing to fight back against all these anti-energy Trudeau policies,” he said. “But on Trans Mountain, they are really trying to pull the wool over our eyes about their phoney fight for pipelines.”
Kenney said if he were Alberta’s next premier, he would immediately bring in “turn-off-the-taps” legislation allowing the province to scale back exports of its crude to B.C. if the government there continued to obstruct the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
“We will make it very clear to the NDP government in Victoria that if they continue their campaign of obstruction we will be prepared to turn off the flow of Alberta energy to B.C.’s Lower Mainland.”
Kenney said gasoline prices have hit an all-time high of $1.67 a litre in B.C. and he predicted they would remain high if Alberta were to turn off the taps.
Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press
Four Central Albertans will play key roles in the new Alberta Government!
From the Province of Alberta
Premier Kenney appoints strong team ready to lead
Alberta’s 18th Premier, Jason Kenney, and his cabinet were sworn in at Government House in Edmonton on April 30.
“Albertans gave our new government a huge democratic mandate for bold change that gets our economy back to work and stands up for this province. This is a strong team that is ready to lead, and to deliver that change starting today.”
“Many of the ministers appointed are Albertans by choice and not chance, having immigrated to this province because they saw it as a land of opportunity that they now seek to serve. Alberta’s new cabinet includes farmers, teachers, tradespeople, small business owners, lawyers, business executives, musicians, oil and gas experts, public servants and a range of other professional backgrounds. These ministers are in touch with the lives of the people they will be serving.”
“This is a young, energetic and diverse team with deep experience. With an average age of 43, most members of this cabinet are new to public service. They ran for all of the right reasons: because they want to work hard to reverse years of economic decline and stagnation, and to get our economy moving again. This is a team that will be obsessed with creating jobs, showing the world that Alberta is open for business again, and fighting for a fair deal in Canada.”
Premier Kenney and cabinet will meet for the first time immediately after the swearing-in. They will be focused on getting to work on Day One, implementing the comprehensive United Conservative agenda. Later today, Premier Kenney will be launching his strategy to stand up for Albertans, beginning with a presentation to a Senate committee, opposing the disastrous Bill C-48 – a bill unfairly targeting and discriminating against Alberta resources.
Full biographies for Alberta’s new cabinet can be found on Alberta.ca.
Premier Jason Kenney, President of Executive Council and Minister of Intergovernmental Relations
Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education
Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
Rebecca Shulz, Minister of Children’s Services
Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Community and Social Services
Leela Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women
Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism
Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy
Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks
Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations
Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure
Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
Jason Copping, Minister of Labour and Immigration
Kaycee Madu, Minister of Municipal Affairs
Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing
Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta
Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation
Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance
- Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions
- Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas
- Grant Hunter, Associate Minister of Red Tape
- Muhammad Yaseen, Parliamentary Secretary of Immigration
Major non-cabinet assignments
- Jason Nixon, House Leader
- Doug Schweitzer, Deputy House Leader
- Ric McIver, Deputy House Leader
- Sonya Savage, Deputy House Leader
- Mike Ellis, Whip
- Joseph Schow, Deputy Whip
These are the key people Jason Kenney will be leaning on to help him lead the province
From the United Conservative Party
Premier Designate names senior staff
Team members include:
- Jamie Huckabay, Chief of Staff to the Premier: Born and raised in Lethbridge, Jamie was Chief of Staff to the Opposition Leader and UCP Caucus. Prior to this role, Jamie was a key member for Jason Kenney’s PC Leadership Campaign leading convention operations. Jamie has considerable private and public sector experience. He was previously Director at mobile technology firm Taplytics and Vice President at Gerson Lehrman Group. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Lethbridge, Masters in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Oxford University. As the Chief administrator, Jamie will oversee political operations and implementation of the Premier’s agenda and priorities.
- Howard Anglin, Principal Secretary: Howard is a lawyer who served in the former federal Conservative government as Chief of Staff to the Premier Designate in his role as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and as Deputy Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He has degrees from McGill University and New York University, worked as a lawyer in private practice at international law firms in New York, London, and Washington, DC, and was most recently a constitutional lawyer running a national legal charity in Calgary. As the administration’s most senior political advisor, Howard will provide expert advice and direction to the Premier and Executive Council.
- Katy Merrifield, Executive Director of Communication and Planning: Katy is a long-time senior political aide from British Columbia. She served a variety of roles in the BC government including Chief of Staff to the Minister of Health and Jobs, Tourism and Economic Development, culminating as the Director of Communications to former B.C. Premier Christy Clark. She is also the first woman and youngest person to win a provincial leadership campaign in BC with the successful election of Andrew Wilkinson as current Leader of the Opposition. Katy will lead and execute the agenda for political communications and policy announcements.
- Christine Myatt, Deputy Director of Communications and Press Secretary:Christine is a long-time political aide from Alberta, having served in multiple senior communications roles in previous Alberta governments and most recently as Director of Strategic Communications for the Official Opposition. As Deputy Communications Director, Christine will be the primary contact for media relations.
- David Knight Legg, Head of Transition: David moved back to Alberta last year to advise the Premier Designate’s team on trade and finance. He originally hails from Lethbridge, where he received his undergraduate degree. David also has a Masters in Public Administration from Queens University, a PhD from Yale and a law degree from Oxford University. His professional background includes McKinsey and Company, Managing Director for Europe and Asia for the Gerson Lehrman Group and Global Head of Strategy at Commonwealth Bank. As Head of Transition, David is overseeing an orderly and seamless transition into government for the incoming administration.
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