Alberta premier — 'I am ready and prepared to turn off the taps'

Posted May 16, 2018 by Karen Graham
While Ottawa was announcing it will backstop the $7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion Wednesday, May 16, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley was reiterating her threat to “turn off the taps” of oil and gas to B.C.
A Canadian flag is pictured at a demonstration against the expansion of Texas-based Kinder Morgan&ap...
A Canadian flag is pictured at a demonstration against the expansion of Texas-based Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline project in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada on March 10, 2018
Jason Redmond, AFP/File
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley must have been saving up all week for her latest diatribe today, but at least she waited for Finance Minister Bill Morneau to finish his press conference, laying out Ottawa's plan to ensure the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is completed.
During her press conference on Wednesday, Notley used her strongest language yet in reiterating her promise to cut off all oil and gas flow into British Columbia if the province does not stop its opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline project.
She also boasted that later today, her government is expected to pass Bill 12, entitled Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act. The bill will give the Alberta government the ability to retaliate against the B.C. government for any delays to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, including driving up gas prices and restricting exports to the province that would include gasoline, oil, diesel and natural gas.
“Albertans, British Columbians, and all Canadians should understand that, if the path forward for the pipeline through B.C. is not settled soon, I am ready and prepared to turn off the taps,” she said, according to Business Vancouver.
CBC Canada notes that today, gas in British Columbia is at $1.57 per liter, and cutting off shipments would drive gasoline prices even higher, but they also cite the political pressure on B.C. Premier John Horgan.
When Notley was asked when she planned on turning the taps off, she declined to answer, and that was probably a very wise decision on her part. "With the greatest of respect, I'm not going to spell out the exact schedule and the exact steps," she said.
Notley also responded to the comment by the Finance Minister earlier in the day when Morneau said: "the federal government is so intent on getting the pipeline built, it is even agreeable to provide indemnity to those private sector investors."
“The federal government took an important step on that matter in announcing that Ottawa will fully backstop the project,” Notley said, reports Global News. “The federal government has worked with Alberta to eliminate the financial risk to the project brought by the actions of the B.C. government, a key piece of our overall strategy.”
However, with saying Alberta was agreeable to what Ottawa said this morning, Notley still thinks Bill 12 will be the answer. “With pipeline capacity stretched to the limit, Albertans have the right to choose how our energy is shipped so that Alberta gets the best return possible,” Notley said. “Bill 12 gives us that power.