Alberta spending millions to promote Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is spending $23.4 million to convince Canadians why a major oil pipeline project is needed.

The marketing campaign, Keep Canada Working, is aimed at getting people to support the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The project would triple the amount of oil that flows from Alberta to the B.C. coast for export and increase its value.

The message is that Trans Mountain would boost Canada’s economy and support jobs across the country.

The money is for television, radio, newspaper, internet and billboard ads.

Premier Rachel Notley says the campaign is money well spent.

“It is a win to make sure that more Canadians understand it (Trans Mountain) better than maybe they did a few years ago,” Notley said Thursday.

“It is actually about the economic prosperity and security of Canadians from across this country.”

Alberta’s United Conservative Party Opposition says the market campaign is too late.

Christine Wyatt, a party spokeswoman, says the NDP government should have promoted the merits of the project earlier.

The Federal Court of Appeal quashed Ottawa’s approval of the project in August, citing the National Energy Board’s failure to examine how it would affect the ocean ecosystem, including endangered killer whales.

It also found Canada failed to meaningfully consult with First Nations.

The federal government, which purchased the project for $4.5 billion, ordered the energy board to review the concerns. A report is expected next month.

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