EDMONTON – Various levels of government are getting together in Edmonton Wednesday and Thursday for the annual Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Mayor’s Caucuses and a priority this year is the Energy East Pipeline.
In response to Quebec’s criticism of the pipeline, the association wrote a letter to other municipalities and associations across Canada, asking for support for the pipeline.
“Usually municipalities really focus on local issues, but you don’t get more of a local issue than something that is affecting every single resident and business owner in our communities, and that’s this current economic situation,” AUMA president Lisa Holmes said.
“For us it was important to say this is a project that means so much to Alberta and Canada, and we wanted to make sure that all municipalities stand in support of it.”
Holmes hand delivered the letter at a national meeting in Quebec.
“They were very positive. They were very supportive of the fact that Alberta is taking this stand,” Holmes said.
“We are already seeing other associations step up like Saskatchewan to pass a resolution at their convention and their president was speaking yesterday, saying she supports our letter and supports what we’re doing.”
The association brought placards with them to Wednesday’s breakfast which read ‘Go East.’ It’s a show of support for Premier Rachel Notley, Holmes said.
“We just really want her to understand that we support her and we support her strong stance, and we expect that we’ll hear back from other members of government and Ottawa when we go there in April.”
Premier Notley told the crowd Alberta needs to stop relying so heavily on the United States as a customer for its oil, and instead needs “access to tidewater.”
“We can shield vulnerable Albertans from the worst affects of the slowdown, we can begin to shift Alberta’s dependence on a single commodity, a single price and a single market, and we can position the province for renewed prosperity for economic development and diversification,” Notley said.
The agenda is full of issues beyond the Energy East Pipeline during the two days of meetings, including infrastructure, transportation and affordable housing.