Notley hopeful Quebec will warm to Energy East if environment protected

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is hopeful Quebec will get behind the Energy East oil pipeline, provided her province does its part to fight climate change and protect the environment.

QUEBEC — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is hopeful Quebec will get behind the Energy East oil pipeline, provided her province does its part to fight climate change and protect the environment.

Notley and her Quebec counterpart, Philippe Couillard, had their first face-to-face meeting in Quebec City on Tuesday ahead of the annual premiers’ meeting in St. John’s, N.L., later this week. The two discussed Energy East and climate change policy.

“I think it’s fair to say that he understands that energy continues to be a key driver of economic prosperity, not just in Alberta, but across Canada and he acknowledged as well that pipelines are ultimately the best way to move that product and that we needed to look at ways to enhance market access,” Notley said in a teleconference call following the meeting.

However, she said climate change is top of mind for Couillard. Energy East would ship more than a million barrels a day of oilsands crude, which has been derided in many quarters for its big carbon footprint.

Alberta recently toughened up its rules for large industrial emitters and doubled the province’s carbon price to $30 a tonne in 2017 for those that exceed their limit. Meanwhile, an expert panel is examining Alberta’s broader climate change policy.

“What I heard from him is that if we’re able to move forward on that in a meaningful and convincing way, that there’s more likelihood of Quebec being able to come to terms with it.”

Couillard has also raised concerns that Quebec will just be a transit point for Alberta crude on its way to international markets and won’t benefit economically.

Notley said Couillard’s caveats are reasonable.

“Those are the same standards we would look for in Alberta. So we’re going to continue to work with him and continue the dialogue and certainly advocate on behalf of the pipeline and I’m hopeful that we’ll get some good results ultimately.”

Notley’s approach to pipelines differs from that of her Progressive Conservative predecessors, who aggressively stumped for all pipeline proposals.

While Notley is in favour of Energy East and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion to the Vancouver area, she has said her government won’t lobby for the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States or Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal across northern British Columbia.

If it proceeds, TransCanada’s (TSX:TRP) $12-billion Energy East pipeline would carry Alberta crude as far as Saint John, N.B., with the goal of feeding Canadian refineries as well as overseas customers.

A planned export terminal in Cacouna, Que., has been scrapped due to concerns over beluga whale habitat. TransCanada is now examining alternatives.

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read