Hours after a stunning Federal Court of Appeal decision in which Ottawa’s approval of the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was overturned, Premier Rachel Notley addressed Albertans about the latest hurdle to come before the project and dropped a political bombshell of her own.
“Signing on to the federal climate plan can’t happen without the Trans Mountain pipeline,” she told reporters at a new conference Thursday evening. “Today I’m announcing that with the Trans Mountain halted and the work on it halted, until the federal government gets its act together, Alberta is pulling out of the federal climate plan and let’s be clear, without Alberta, that plan isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”
Notley said Alberta signing onto the plan was always contingent on the Trans Mountain pipeline project going forward.
“Albertans are angry. I’m angry,” she said. “Albertans have done everything right and we have been let down.”
Watch Below: Premier Rachel Notley is firing back at Ottawa after the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion was overturned. Sarah Kraus explains.
On Thursday morning, a panel of three judges said the National Energy Board’s review of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion proposal was so flawed that the federal government could not use it as a basis for its decision to approve the project.
Watch below: A court ruling on Thursday has left many people wondering if the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project will ever go forward. Gord Steinke sat down with political analyst John Brennan to talk about the latest development in the pipeline saga.
The court also ruled the federal government did not sufficiently engage in meaningful consultations with First Nations before approving the project.
LISTEN BELOW: Aaron Wudrick with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation speaks with the Ryan Jespersen Show on 630 CHED
Notley said she spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier in the day where she laid out two specific demands: the federal government should file an appeal through the Supreme Court of Canada as soon as possible and Trudeau should call an emergency session of Parliament to “assert its authority” and to fix the NEB consultation process, which was criticized in Thursday’s court ruling.
“Successive federal governments created the mess we find ourselves in… now Ottawa needs to fix it,” Notley said.
“When Alberta’s economy is held hostage, Canada is not working, so the time for Canadian niceties is over.”
Watch below: The day after the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project was presented with its latest hurdle, Quinn Ohler sat down for an interview with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.
At one point in the news conference, Notley said the current political and legal atmosphere in Canada renders it “practically impossible” to build a pipeline to tidewater.
Notley said Trudeau reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring the project goes ahead but did not provide a concrete answer on how or if he would follow through on her demands.
Watch below: Some videos from Premier Rachel Notley’s news conference on Thursday night.
In 2015, Alberta’s economy was rattled by a sudden collapse in global oil prices.
Since winning the Alberta election later that year, Notley and her NDP government have made getting more oilsands bitumen to tidewater a priority while also working to diversify the province’s economy and to develop a plan to address the threat posed by climate change.
Notley said she has no plans to drop her government’s climate action plan, including the carbon tax, and indicated her record on the climate change file is something she’s proud of.
“[Before the NDP was elected] we had no climate change plan in Alberta,” she said. “We had no plan to diversify our energy sources — we had none of that.”
Notley said she believes the federal government has a duty to amend its consultation process with Indigenous people on pipeline matters and that she believes a new and amended consultation process could potentially be completed by early 2019.
“It is a crisis,” she said of the situation. “Our ability to transport our most valuable commodity is subject to the whims of the White House and the U.S. government. Let’s not kid ourselves. This is a threat to Canadian sovereignty and Canadian economic security.”