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

Man ‘seriously’ injured in crash after driving wrong way on Highway 17: Surrey RCMP

Police say the sedan hit a transport truck, then another car

Easter ‘eggstravaganza’ event planned for South Surrey

Event is to run from 12-3 p.m. at Dufferin Park (17355 2 Ave.).

IHIT hunting in Edmonton for clues to 2017 Surrey homicide

Tanner Krupa, 19 was found dead in an alley in August 2017, in the 6900-block of 127A Street

Update: Surrey Mounties found missing man

Kuldip Sandhu, 41, had been reported missing

Surrey youth ‘REWIRE’ in play-creating project that involves a lunar eclipse and video games

‘It was such a fun process to create a play from scratch,’ says Guildford Park Secondary student

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Most Read