Alberta government investing in pro-pipeline campaign to win ‘hearts and minds’
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is reaffirming how determined she is to making sure the controverisal Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project goes ahead and on Thursday, she announced a new media campaign is being launched to convince Canadians to support the project.
“It is a necessary investment in the battle for hearts and minds,” Notley said at a hastily organized news conference on Thursday. “Now is not the time to take the foot off the pedal.”
Notley said the government will spend $1.2 million to convince Canadians of the safety of the pipeline project as well as of its economic importance. She added $700,000 of that investment will be used for TV, radio and social media spots in B.C. municipalities.
According to Notley, billboards have already been going up in B.C. That province’s government has attempted to stall the pipeline project, citing environmental concerns and wanting more assurances that an effective cleanup plan will be in place in the event of a catastrophic oil spill off the west coast.
In the meantime, the Alberta NDP is putting an expiry date on proposed legislation that would allow the province to regulate oil and gas shipments.
The government has said it might use such a law against British Columbia if it continues to block the Trans Mountain project.
Watch below: On April 17, 2018, Tom Vernon filed this report about the B.C. government threatening to sue Alberta if it moves forward on a plan to cut off oil supply.
Parties on both sides of the house voted on Wednesday to accept an Alberta Party amendment to put a two-year limit on the bill.
It proposes that Alberta have the power to restrict and redirect flows of oil, gasoline and natural gas to maximize profits, given the bottlenecks in pipelines.
The amendment gives the Notley government the option to extend the bill after the two-year limit, although it would need to go back to the legislature for approval.
Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd said two years is a reasonable time.
Notley has threatened consequences to B.C. for its opposition to and efforts to stall the Trans Mountain project.
On Thursday, Notley reiterated that once Bill 12 becomes law, it will be an effective political lever for the province.
“We do have a very big, effective tool at our disposal. B.C. knows this and even more importantly, the federal government knows this. If we have to, we will do whatever is required to get this job done.”
The bill has the potential to cause gasoline and other fuel-related prices to spike in B.C.
Kinder Morgan Canada has set May 31 as its deadline for a decision on whether it might cancel the $7.4-billion project.
Notley said Thursday she is confident talks will bring results ahead of the deadline.
“I want to assure Albertans that the discussions are focused on the only outcome that is acceptable to us and to a growing number of people across this country, including a majority in British Columbia, and that is the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline,”
-With files from The Canadian Press
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.