May 17, 2018 1:45 pm
Updated: May 17, 2018 9:53 pm

Notley welcomes trade delegation from B.C. amid pipeline dispute

WATCH ABOVE: Alberta's premier said the delegation from BC visiting Alberta reflects and generates change to public opinion surrounding the pipeline project.


Alberta Premier Rachel Notley met with a delegation from the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade in Edmonton on Thursday.

In the midst of an ongoing feud over the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, 100 business, Indigenous, community and labour leaders from British Columbia made the trip to Edmonton to show that B.C. is still “open for business.”

Dubbed “The Federation Flight,” the delegation met with the premier Thursday morning before attending a luncheon presentation hosted by the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

READ MORE: B.C. business leaders heading to Edmonton to show province is ‘great place to do business’

Watch below: As Alberta and B.C.’s provincial governments are locked in a bitter dispute over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, some members of B.C.’s business community travelled to Alberta to say they support the project. Fletcher Kent reports.

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Notley spoke at the luncheon and then answered questions from reporters.

“Above and beyond the pipeline 3 which is fundamental — this is becoming an issue about how Canada works,” she said.

The premier was asked if she thinks having members of the B.C. business community visit Alberta helps smooth out this conflict.

“I think trips like this both reflect and also generate changes in public opinion and what we are seeing is a growing level of support for this pipeline all across the country,” Notley said.

Watch: Premier Rachel Notley admitted the BC business community may not be “super pumped” about Bill 12 but thinks they understand the process and the provinces have a shared destination.

“There is what I refer to as the moderate majority who understand the need to work on protecting the environment, engaging with Indigenous Canadians at the same time as ensuring we’re protecting working people and the people that employ them.

“We have to develop a plan that involves respecting all of those interests; not choosing one over the other.”

“This plan — the Climate Leadership Plan and this pipeline — it actually represents that wonderful Canadian comprise that we’re so good at … We have to make it work now. ”

READ MORE: Alberta to pass Bill 12 Wednesday; Notley ‘prepared to turn off the taps’ over Trans Mountain

Val Litwin, with the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, said turning down the taps would not be received well in his province but says the legislation is focusing attention and spurring debate on the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Watch: A mission to strengthen business ties between Alberta and B.C. Amid the current Trans Mountain pipeline was spear-headed by Iain Black, president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. He joined Global News at Noon.

Notley said Alberta is trying to create hardship for anyone else but “we’re fully engaged in this [pipeline project] and we’re not going to let it fail.”

“We have to make progress on this pipeline. As Albertans, we have to be able to maximize the return we receive for our resources as well as we can and ultimately our ability to do that is good for the national economy.

“I think most of the business owners there [in B.C.] are very much aligned with us on achieving those objections,” Notley said.

“I’m sure they’re not super pumped about Bill 12 but at the same time, I think they also see where we are headed with this and at the end of the day, we share a common destination.”

READ MORE: Kinder Morgan halts Trans Mountain pipeline expansion amid B.C. opposition

In light of continued opposition to the expansion project, Kinder Morgan suspended all “non-essential activities and related spending” on its Trans Mountain pipeline on April 8. It put a deadline in place of May 31 to decide to continue with the expansion.

On Wednesday, Alberta passed Bill 12, which is called the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act.

The legislation gives the province sweeping power to intervene in oil and gas exports that could result in punitive price spikes in British Columbia in the dispute over the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion.

“Albertans, British Columbians and all Canadians should understand that if the path forward for the pipeline through B.C. is not settled soon, I’m ready and prepared to turn off the taps,” Notley said Wednesday.

READ MORE: B.C. government threatens to sue Alberta over ‘turn off the taps’ legislation

B.C. Premier John Horgan called the Alberta law provocative.

“Instead of asking how can we work together on this, they took aggressive action,” he said in Chilliwack, B.C.

Last month, an open letter signed by hundreds of business owners was sent to Horgan, urging him stand by his opposition to the pipeline expansion.

Watch: Prime Minister Trudeau suggested Thursday that monetary assurances from the government to Trans Mountain investors made “good economic sense” as pipeline expansion would provide access to new markets estimated at $15-billion.

— With a file from The Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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