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 continues to wrestle with high COVID-19 case numbers. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer up to 858 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports additional 1,799 cases of the virus

Bo's Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening.
(Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

The Bowden Institution medium security facility near Bowden has 15 active COVID-19 cases. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
15 active COVID-19 cases at Bowden prison

Bowden Institution has had 36 positive cases this year with 21 recovered and no deaths

Alberta Health Services Logo
Rocky Mountain House emergency department temporarily closes overnight

Emergency department will be without a physician between May 12 and 13

file photo
PM tells Canadians to prepare for one-dose summer, two-dose fall

Chief Public Health Officer says 75 per cent getting first dose is target to avoid fourth wave

Vaccines, oil prices and Husky takeover boost Cenovus outlook, says CEO Alex Pourbaix

Vaccines, oil prices and Husky takeover boost Cenovus outlook, says CEO Alex Pourbaix

This photo taken in October 2016 shows an aboveground section of Enbridge's Line 5 at the Mackinaw City, Mich., pump station. Business leaders in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin have joined forces with their Canadian counterparts in the legal fight over the Line 5 pipeline. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/John Flesher
Business leaders in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin urge court to keep Line 5 operating

Business leaders in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin urge court to keep Line 5 operating

This June 2020 photo, shot from a television screen provided by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy shows damage to anchor support EP-17-1 on the east leg of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline within the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy via AP
Quebec’s location and energy alternatives give it options if Line 5 closes: expert

Quebec’s location and energy alternatives give it options if Line 5 closes: expert

Tanker trucks are parked near the entrance of Colonial Pipeline Company Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Carlson
Cybersecurity experts say Canadian businesses can learn from U.S. pipeline attack

Cybersecurity experts say Canadian businesses can learn from U.S. pipeline attack

A man works in the broadcast centre at the TMX Group Ltd. in Toronto, on May 9, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
Energy helps to cushion inflation worries as TSX drops less than U.S. markets

Energy helps to cushion inflation worries as TSX drops less than U.S. markets

Sentries march off after a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of V-J Day and the end of the Second World War, at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. The Canadian Armed Forces is reporting minimal progress at the midway point of its 10-year drive to increase the number of women in uniform. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Military reports minimal progress in drive to add more women to the ranks

OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces is reporting minimal progress at the… Continue reading

Hassan Diab holds a news conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa Friday, February 7 , 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Canada must not extradite Diab regardless of coming French court decision: lawyer

OTTAWA — The Canadian government should not be part of any further… Continue reading

In this Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 file photo, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, welcomes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during official arrivals for a NATO leaders meeting at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Francisco Seco
U.K. eyeing fall for start of detailed trade deal talks with Canada, minister says

OTTAWA — Britain’s trade minister says his country expects to kick-start talks… Continue reading

Most Read