Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she’s not upset with Quebec’s decision to seek a provincial environmental impact assessment over the Energy East pipeline.
Notley says after discussions with Quebec, the federal government and TransCanada Pipelines — which is proposing the pipeline — she says Quebec is doing what Ontario did, which is to gather information for its submission to the National Energy Board.
But Notley says Alberta will come out guns blazing if it turns out that Quebec wants the power to say no to the pipeline.
Quebec says TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. (TSX:TRP) must demonstrate that its plans for the Quebec portion of the project respect the province’s laws.
The pipeline would carry 1.1 million barrels a day of western crude as far east as Saint John, N.B., serving domestic refineries and international customers.
“I am going to leave the gun in the holster until we are actually at the gunfight, and we are not there right now,” Notley said Tuesday. “We are going to be monitoring this and keeping a close eye on it.”
Watch below: Notley weighs in on Quebec’s request for Energy East review
She also says TransCanada has said it will co-operate with Quebec, but how Quebec gets that co-operation is up to them — whether it be an injunction or another legal means.
How can an injunction be granted against a proposed pipeline that has not even received NEB approval? This is bad,divisive political theatre
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) March 1, 2016
If Quebec won’t back #EnergyEast, they can send back their equalization payments & explain why they prefer Saudi oil over Cdn oil #ableg
— Brian Jean (@BrianJeanWRP) March 1, 2016
After talking w/ TransCanada, Quebec & the feds, here are my thoughts on QC filing court papers against Energy East: https://t.co/i7hEBD9lNY
— Rachel Notley (@RachelNotley) March 1, 2016
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Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel said his government got no response from TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) to two letters it sent in late 2014 advising that the $15.7-billion project must pass a provincial environmental impact assessment.
“This is not directed at any province or region,” said Heurtel.
“This is about one company that wants to do a project in Quebec which, in our opinion, is not respecting Quebec law.”
Nonetheless, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said the move is likely to be “divisive.”
“Let’s respect the fact that there is a national process in place,” he said. “Provinces shouldn’t be slapping their own processes on top of that, especially when it is trying to avoid the project happening at all.”
Liberal Leader David Swann said Albertans shouldn’t be overly confident in the proposed Quebec review, despite Notley’s assurances.
“While I respect premier Notley for not inflaming tensions with public accusations or transfer payment grandstanding, the fact remains Quebec appears to be preparing to fight the approval of the Energy East pipeline,” Swann said in an emailed statement.
“Going forward, the premier of Alberta must ensure that her actions match today’s strong words.”