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

B.C. declares state of emergency as wildfires rage

More than 3,300 firefighters are battling more than 500 fires

Third overall in Canada for McLure, B.C. cowboy

McLure junior bull rider, Jake Bradley, finished third overall at the recent… Continue reading

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Slippery suspect evades RCMP near Clearwater twice in one week

Anyone with information urged to contact RCMP or Crime Stoppers

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Thousands prepare to leave their homes at a moment’s notice

Northwest B.C. and Cariboo seeing most fire activity in province as crews battle 490 fires

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Thieves steal supplies, tools and juice boxes from B.C. summer camp

‘Take a moment to think about who you stole from,’ says Burns Bog Society’s Mark Robertson

Are you prepared? Pet Safe Coalition gives tips on having and executing animal evacuation plans

Pet Safe founder Willow Eyford began evacuating her animals when alert was issued for her property

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was “shocked” by the feedback she received from one of the bankers.

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Most Read