Premier Rachel Notley says moving oil by rail means fewer trains to ship grain for export. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Grain railway backlog another reason to expand oil pipeline: Alberta premier

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says Canada will continue to have trouble moving grain across the country unless more oil pipelines are built.

Notley says moving oil by rail means there are fewer trains to ship grain for export.

Grain shipments in Canada have been delayed for the second time in four years as railways grapple with a larger-than-expected grain crop and extreme winter weather.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has said producers are struggling to pay their bills because their grain isn’t moving.

Notley says such transportation bottlenecks will continue as long as grain has to compete with oil for rail space.

She says the solution is to get more oil flowing through pipelines.

Having oil shipped by rail isn’t good for anyone’s bottom line, Notley said.

“The minute we get (oil and gas products) on to rail, we start selling them at a massive discount,” Notley said Thursday in Lethbridge.

“That’s not good. Meanwhile, the other folks that need rail start losing their profit margin because they’re having to bid up in order to get access — big consequences to the whole country. That’s why we need to operate like a country.”

Alberta is locking horns with British Columbia over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline which would triple the amount of diluted bitumen from Alberta to Burnaby’s port for shipment overseas.

The federal government approved the pipeline expansion in 2016, but the project faces significant opposition in B.C. Thousands of people have rallied in protest and the provincial government has raised concerns about the pipeline’s possible environmental and economic impact.

Premier John Horgan is seeking a legal ruling on whether his province can restrict increased amounts of oil from coming into B.C. while his government reviews oil-spill safety measures.

Notley has said her government will introduce legislation later this session which would give it the option to turn off the oil taps to B.C.

“This pipeline has national implications,” Notley said. “It is in the national interest. It impacts all sectors of the economy.

“We are committed to ensuring that it gets built.”

Just Posted

Red Deer record store celebrates its last Record Store Day

The Soundhouse, a guitar and record shop in downtown Red Deer, closes its doors next Saturday

WATCH: On 4—20 Day in Red Deer, marijuana users say legal weed a long time coming

Not wanting to wait for the federal government to legalize recreational marijuana,… Continue reading

Former Central Alberta MLA appealing fine for not protecting a list of 20,000 electors

List included names and addresses of voters in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre

Proposed Alberta legislation would protect consumers

Alberta Utilities Commission would be given power to penalize natural gas and electricity providers

Red Deer beginning two major construction projects

Ross Street’s 1935-era water main to be replaced and 67th Street roundabout landscaped

WATCH: Central Alberta bouldering competition

Central Alberta climbers looked to prove they’re the best at a competition… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer RCMP and Emergency Services play for Humboldt

Red Deer police officers and firefighters laced up their skates to raise… Continue reading

WATCH: Flooding closes portion of Red Deer’s 43 Street

A portion of 43 Street in Red Deer was closed Saturday morning… Continue reading

After air accidents, survivors grapple with flying again

Hundreds of hands grappling with oxygen masks. Flight attendants warning passengers to… Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth to attend pop concert for 92nd birthday

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth is marking her 92nd birthday with a Saturday… Continue reading

‘Such a great person:’ Funeral being held for assistant coach with Broncos

STRASBOURG, Sask. — Mark Cross was a ferocious competitor when he played… Continue reading

UPDATE: Missing Innisfail woman located

A 54-year-old Innisfail woman, who had not been seen since Wednesday, has… Continue reading

Hellebuyck makes 30 saves, Jets beat Wild in Game 5 to advance to Round 2

WINNIPEG — Bryan Little’s teammates were happy they could deliver something special… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month