Alberta NDP not concerned about pipeline after BC election; opposition troubled

Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd says she doesn’t believe the outcome of the B.C. election puts the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in jeopardy.

McCuaig-Boyd notes that the Kinder Morgan line taking Alberta crude to ports in British Columbia has already been approved by the federal government.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau halts Northern Gateway, approves Kinder Morgan expansion, Line 3


And she says her government will continue to work to get the pipeline to completion.

The future of the expansion was put in question after Tuesday’s general election in B.C.

Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal party, which supports the pipeline, won 43 seats, one short of a majority.

“Democracy is democracy,” Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman said Wednesday. “The people of British Columbia made their decision and I respect it.

“We’ll continue to see the results in the days to come but the federal approval has gone through. Premier Clark, we expect, will continue to work with us to make sure that we get that tidewater access that’s so important to both our economies.

“We want Alberta jobs and we’re not going to back down until we get market access both on the west coast – which we’ve already got the federal approval – and right now the premier’s in Ontario working to continue to create opportunities for that east coast access as well,” Hoffman said.

WATCH: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chose her words carefully reacting to the uncertain vote results in B.C. Tuesday. As Reid Fiest reports, a possible BC NDP and Green Party coalition could create obstacles for the already approved $7.4 Billion pipeline.

READ MORE: What happens when B.C. elects a minority government?

The NDP won 41 seats and the Greens hold the balance of power with three seats — both parties ran on platforms that included opposition to the pipeline.

“It’s very troubling for Alberta and Albertans being that the balance of power is being held by the Greens,” Wildrose leader Brian Jean said. “Obviously the Greens are against Site C, they’re against the Kinder Morgan pipeline, LNG, as are the [BC] NDP, so this government in Alberta — the NDP government — is running out of friends.

“[Notley] doesn’t have a lot of friends here in western Canada.”

Jean said the Alberta NDP should do its best to work with B.C. for the benefit of Albertans.

“I think you can work with other levels of government for your people’s best interest and ultimately lines of communication should be re-established.”

Hoffman said the NDP will continue to work with colleagues in B.C.

“We continue to move forward with the federal approvals and we expect that we’ll be able to continue to get that market access that’s already been approved. We’re moving forward… We’ve been quite effective, I think, in making good inroads there and look forward to continuing to work with Premier Clark.”

McCuaig-Boyd says she is not worried.

“I don’t know that (opponents) have the (legal) tools to stop it,” she said Wednesday.

“We’ve taken out intervener status to defend Alberta. This is not just about Alberta. This is about Canada. This is a good project.”

READ MORE: Alberta government eyes intervener status on Trans Mountain pipeline

In an updated prospectus filed Wednesday, Kinder Morgan Canada said it is looking to sell shares at between $19 and $22 to help fund the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain expansion project rather than using a joint venture to fund it.

— With files from Emily Mertz, Global News