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Alberta balks at signing communique as Kinder Morgan looms large


May 24, 2018  


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B.C. Premier John Horgan, N.W.T. Premier Bob McLeod and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister. The leaders gathered in Yellowknife Wednesday for the Western Premiers Conference.

As western premiers met in Yellowknife Wednesday to discuss pharmacare, infrastructure, justice and community safety, the dispute over Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline still loomed large.

Alberta didn’t sign the communique out of the meeting, because it did not include a statement of shared support of the pipeline.

“Although the issues discussed at the Western Premiers Conference are important to Canadians, it is Alberta’s view that the Trans Mountain pipeline must be built if the country and its provinces are able to fund Canadian priorities, such as pharmacare,” Alberta deputy premier Sarah Hoffman told CBC News.

She stressed the importance of coming to a consensus, given Kinder Morgan’s May 31 deadline.

“We’re nine days away from one of the biggest decisions in contemporary infrastructure for our country.”

Greenpeace Canada, which is staunchly opposed to the pipeline, said pharmacare shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip in the pipeline debate.

“If the Alberta government is worried about revenue maybe they should look at bringing their tax regime in line with the rest of the country and stop relying on a volatile source of revenue like oil,” spokesperson Mike Hudema said in an email to CBC News.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley isn’t attending the Western Premiers Conference owing to the pipeline dispute with B.C. Premier John Horgan.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced Monday afternoon she wouldn’t attend the Western Premiers Conference so she could focus on Kinder Morgan’s deadline for getting the pipeline issue settled.

(CBC News / Reuters)