Premier Rachel Notley sits down with 630 CHED for year-end interview

WATCH ABOVE: Premier Rachel Notley talks about Alberta's economy, the opposition UCP and

Premier Rachel Notley is ready for 2018.

With the NDP past the halfway point toward a 2019 election, the plan is to stay the course.

She’s not worried about United Conservative Party leader and political rival Jason Kenney joining the legislature and heating up the debate.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney byelection win sets showdown with Alberta premier

In a year-end interview with 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen, she deflected any criticism of the NDP’s spending record, saying that her government has had to balance going into debt with keeping services and jobs for Albertans.

“The question is, do you want to support families, or are you more interested in supporting this year’s books? I’m saying sometimes government is about more than one year at a time.”

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Notley said they want to avoid doing what Saskatchewan did, which is focus on the books and make drastic cuts and raise taxes. The government plans to continue their “compassionate” approach to the economy in the new year.

Watch below: Premier Rachel Notley sits down with 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen

Notley defended their record so far, especially when it came to jobs.

“We’re seeing that most businesses are talking about hiring next year, or are already hiring this year, but we also know that the job is just not done, and it has to continue to be our focus.”

Another focus in 2018 will be working with British Columbia to win them over on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion.

“We’re just going to continue our work of talking directly to the people of B.C. about why the pipeline is a good thing for them, a good thing for their economy, a good thing for their jobs and a good thing for the national economy.”

READ MORE: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s pro-pipeline tour well received in Calgary

Notley also took a shot at Kenney’s approach to dealing with other jurisdictions while defending the energy industry.

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“You need to have people listen to you when you make the case, and they don’t listen to you when you start by yelling at them,” she said. “It’s a question of style, and I’m not going to grandstand for political points to the exclusion of actually, successfully making my case to all the places where it needs to be made.”

The premier says her plan is working so far for the Trans Mountain expansion, which now has federal approval.