Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to media before the Speech from the Throne, in Edmonton on March 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

There won’t be any fireworks between the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia at the Western premiers conference this week, because Alberta Premier Rachel Notley isn’t going.

B.C.’s John Horgan and Notley, who have butted heads over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, were both scheduled to be in Yellowknife at the conference, which starts Tuesday.

But Cheryl Oates, a spokeswoman for Notley, said in an email Monday afternoon that Notley will be staying in Alberta to complete a deal to secure the construction of the pipeline.

“With 10 days remaining before Kinder Morgan’s deadline, my only priority is to make sure the pipeline gets built,” Notley said in a tweet.

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman will be attending the conference on Notley’s behalf.

Horgan said last week that B.C. and Alberta disagree on the pipeline expansion, but that he and Notley are in agreement on a number of other issues, and have been friends for 20 years.

READ MORE: B.C. heading to court over Alberta’s threat to restrict fuel exports

READ MORE: Pipeline deal won’t cause tension at premiers conference: Horgan

Horgan said he didn’t anticipate any high tension at the conference, even when Notley was still planning to be there, and that he expected the main focus of the meeting to be the development of a national pharmacare program.

Notley, however, fired back on Twitter on Monday evening.

“It would be surreal and exceptionally tone deaf for anyone to think we could politely discuss pharmacare and cannabis when one of the players is hard at work trying to choke the economic lifeblood of the province and the country,” the Alberta premier wrote.

Horgan wasn’t commenting Monday on Notley’s decision to skip the conference.

Alberta has passed legislation allowing it to limit fuel exports to B-C, but British Columbia countered by announcing plans for a lawsuit that would declare Alberta’s legislation unconstitutional.

Even without the Alberta premier’s presence at the premiers conference, Horgan could still face pressure from other premiers.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said last week that he wants to speak about the pipeline’s benefits when he’s at the conference.

“I’m very concerned that we are missing an opportunity here in this nation to advance our economic benefit here, not just in Saskatchewan, but in Western Canada and the nation of Canada,” Moe said.

Moe has said the federal government should withhold sending federal infrastructure money to B.C. over that province’s opposition to Trans Mountain. (CKRM)

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Family needs help while dad recovering from surgery

Go Fund Me set up to help family recover from father’s two major back surgeries

If you have N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee do not drink it

Interior Health advises N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill Coffee has been recalled

Ground breaks on new hotel project

The Best Western will add 72 new rooms for visitors

An armload of cute!

Spring is here and so are the animals

Spring has arrived!

The first day of Spring arrived today, Wednesday, Mar. 20, at 2:58 p.m.

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

The children range in age from six to 17.

Study: Why Canadian police should have a dedicated animal cruelty unit

People view fighting animal cruelty as a public responsibility

Convicted pedophile from B.C. raises fears after move to Ontario

Police have issued a warning about Madilyn Harks in Brampton

Mystery plane wakes up B.C. residents

An aircraft circled Langley City over the weekend after midnight for about an hour

Yellow snake spotted slithering in Greater Victoria neighbourhood

Police describe it as ‘large, pale [and] yellow’ suggesting the snake may be exotic

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

UPDATED: IHIT investigating fatal crash in Surrey

Three people dead, investigators expected to be at scene ‘for significant amount of time’

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Most Read