Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she’s pleased the National Energy Board has conditionally approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to the B.C. coast.
But she says there’s still a lot of work ahead.
“It’s a step,” she said. “It’s not a victory, but it’s an incredibly important step.
“When we lost the case in August, my biggest concern then was actually the NEB process,” Notley said. “That to me was the process I was worried could be dragged out much longer than it has been.”
WATCH BELOW: After taking a second look at the project, the National Energy Board is recommending going ahead with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Heather Yourex-West reports.
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The Federal Court of Appeal struck down the project’s original approval last summer, citing issues over the impact on marine life and Indigenous consultation.
The NEB says the project could cause environmental harm but that the benefits of the pipeline outweigh the effects.
Notley says she is not expecting the federal cabinet to approve the pipeline before the next provincial election, which by law has to happen before the end of May.
“What I know is that they have to get it right and we are going to hold the federal government’s feet to the fire to get Indigenous consultation, accommodation and engagement right.”
WATCH BELOW: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said at a news conference Friday that the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline will help bring Canadian oil to market and bring billions of dollars to the country’s economy.
Opposition United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney says the NEB’s decision is clearly in the public interest.
B.C. indigenous and environmental groups blast NEB approval of Trans Mountain pipeline
He says the larger problem is that Alberta and the federal government failed to get action on other pipeline projects, such as Northern Gateway, Energy East and Keystone XL.
“The NDP has made the mistake of looking at this as a tactical issue, rather than looking at it strategically. We are still a long way from getting completion of a coastal pipeline.
“What we do not need is the NDP giving us yet another one of their victory dances and the spiking of the football,” he said. “They’ve done that every step of the way as we’ve gotten further and further from the completion of a coastal pipeline.”
WATCH BELOW: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Friday she will “hold the federal government’s feet to the fire” regarding the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
Tim McMillan with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said he expected the decision, but warned that nothing should be taken for granted.
“The ball is now in the federal government’s court and they need to conclude their work and get this under construction as quickly as the possibly can.”
LISTEN BELOW: Tim McMillan speaks with the 630 CHED Afternoon News
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McMillan figures the project will go forward, but says the industry has to “reaffirm” the urgency to the federal government that they do their consultation quickly this time.
“That may be a restriction of the government and we want them to do it properly and to do ensure that this time we get it right. But if you remember, the problem the courts said last time it wasn’t that they rushed the consultation —; it was that they didn’t send out the appropriate person to have the meaningful conversation.”
Notley called the recommendations and conditions set forward by the NEB “achievable.”
WATCH BELOW; Alberta UCP Leader Jason Kenney responded Friday to the ruling from the National Energy Board that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion should move forward.
– With files from Adam Toy, Global News and