Alberta unloads crude-by-rail contracts signed under former NDP government

CALGARY — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says his government has unloaded crude-by-rail contracts signed under the previous NDP government, but details aren’t being disclosed yet.

His predecessor, Rachel Notley, announced plans last February to move up to 120,000 barrels of oil a day under deals with Canada’s two major railways, Canadian Pacific and Canadian National.

Kenney, whose United Conservatives won the election a few months later, promised to get rid of the contracts and leave it to the private sector to move Alberta’s oil to market.

He says the NDP’s rail deals would have cost the government $10.6 billion and brought in revenues of $8.8 billion for a loss of $1.8 billion.

He says the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Corp. has negotiated sales that will mean a loss of $1.3 billion.

Kenney says details of who is buying the contracts and on what terms are not being released yet because of commercial confidentiality.

He says the NDP is responsible for the hit to provincial coffers.

“They never should have made this deal. The private sector was willing to move this crude by rail and has done so,” Kenney said in Calgary on Tuesday.

“(Former premier) Rachel Notley is entirely responsible for the deal, for its net cost, for the loss. We, however, have managed to limit the damage, reduce the damage by $500 million.”

Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews is to deliver the 2020 budget on Feb. 27.

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