The Alberta parliament unanimously voted in favor of Premier Rachel Notley’s motion in support of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project, with politicians from different parties sharing the belief that the federal government has not done enough to help the project along the way, despite approving it last year.
The Conservatives were not entirely satisfied with the final version of the motion, but they voted for it nonetheless. The reason for the incomplete happiness was perhaps an amendment proposed by the United Conservative Party that aimed to toughen the stance of Alberta in its conflict with British Columbia.
UCP house leader Jason Nixon said the Albertan government had been slow in its defense of the project, and had not gone far enough in its fight to get the Trans Mountain extension built, adding that the UCP will continue urging it to do more, both with regard to B.C.’s opposition to the project and to the federal government’s inactivity in defending Trans Mountain’s expansion.
The pipeline saga—and the growth prospects for Canada’s oil industry as a whole—have cost the Trudeau government a substantial loss of popularity despite support from the environmentalist lobby. A recent poll showed that almost a quarter of Canadians see the federal government’s performance as “poor”. Trudeau’s own popularity has sagged below that of Donald Trump as he tries to juggle green and oil interests.
There has also been growing inter-provincial tension because of the pipeline, with B.C. and Alberta exchanging warnings and threats. B.C. tried to delay the project’s go-ahead with a reassessment of oil spill measures, and Alberta responded with a ban on B.C. wines and electricity. The anti-pipeline province backed down for now, but its government insists it does not want the pipeline to be built. In response, Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor hinted that B.C. may end up with even lower oil and flows, which would certainly inconvenience the province.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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