Alberta government brings up pipeline issue with projection prank at Liberals’ Christmas party in Ottawa
On Wednesday night, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley took credit for a stunt pulled outside the Liberals’ Christmas party in Ottawa, suggesting the prank raised the pipeline issue with the federal government yet again.
Notley tweeted a 10-second video in which the person capturing the images pans across a parking lot before focusing on a wall with a message projected on it.
The projection shows a tree and one or two buildings. Next to this image, what appears to be a construction crane begins moving downwards. The projection also shows the number $8,344,888,060 and includes a message in French: “Moins de financement pour les projets d’infrastructures,” which roughly translates to: “That’s $8.3 billion less in financing for infrastructure projects.”
While the projection itself does not mention oil or pipelines, Notley tweeted: “Tonight, the federal Liberals are having their Christmas party in Ottawa. While they’re celebrating, we didn’t want them to forget #WhatCanadaLoses. So we set this up outside their door. #keepcanadaworking #TMX”
While the message suggests Canada is losing money because the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project has run into legal hurdles, Global News contacted Notley’s communication team for clarification on the exact message the projection is meant to convey and how the stunt was pulled off.
Late Wednesday night, an NDP spokesperson emailed Global News and said the government is taking “the unprecedented step of using the sides of buildings (as well as buying advertising in newspapers and on websites) to remind people and the federal government that denying access to tidewater costs Canada’s economy $80 million a day.”
“The Government of Alberta has been letting Canadians know the benefits of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in national advertising for several months. In Ottawa, Alberta has put up a counter that tracks the damage done to the Canadian economy since work on the pipeline was halted in August,” the email said.
“What’s being projected is a real-time lost-revenue counter, which illustrates just how much Canadians will miss out on by keeping our energy resources landlocked.
“It is estimated that more than $6 billion in revenue has been lost across the country since the Federal Court of Appeal ruled against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Aug. 30. This money could have gone to build roads, schools and hospitals. The counter is being displayed at locations near Parliament Hill in Ottawa, supported by advertisements in various formats from coast to coast.”
Notley has been taking an increasingly tough tone with the federal Liberal government to demand action on problems plaguing her province’s energy sector.
Watch below: Some recent Global News videos involving Rachel Notley.
With her province’s economy leaking millions of dollars a day thanks to the gap between Alberta’s oil prices and the prices fetched by other oil-producing regions, Notley has imposed a temporary cut on oil production in Alberta to address a backlog that isn’t being transported because of what she says is a lack of pipeline and rail capacity to move the resource.
Earlier this month, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the federal government is willing to consider buying tanker cars to help Alberta move oil by rail but it isn’t ready to commit to such a plan just yet.
One of the major pipeline projects Alberta’s NDP government wants to see completed is the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would triple the amount of Alberta oil the pipeline transports to the West Coast. The project’s approval was thrown out by a federal judge earlier this year, in part because of what were highlighted as shortcomings in the process through which the project was first approved. A new round of consultations is now underway in a bid to have it approved once again.
Watch below: (From December 2018) Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the federal government needs to consider the full costs of rail car purchases to move western oil.
Notley expressed further frustration with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government earlier on Wednesday as well.
“I hear, today, the Prime Minister said his heart goes out to Albertans this Christmas,” she tweeted. “Pretty sure we were clear but here again is our actual wish list: Pipeline; Railcars; Jobs; and Pipeline… Seriously.”
The video projection stunt saw dozens of Twitter users react shortly after it was posted, and the responses were split. Some said the bold act was a great idea, while others suggested it was a crass political move that amounted to trolling.
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