The City of Burnaby is holding up the approval process for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The expansion has received all necessary federal approvals. However, the stonewalling by Burnaby could delay the expansion by nine months. This delay will hurt the fragile economic recovery of the energy-producing provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Rachel Notley is on a national tour to supposedly champion the cause of building new pipelines to carry Alberta oil to tidewater. Notley’s tour is half-hearted at best. Thankfully Albertans have a stronger champion on their side in Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.
Brad Wall’s government is acting in the best economic interest of Saskatchewanians by applying for intervener status on the Trans Mountain pipeline hearings. Saskatchewan is arguing that once federal approvals have been granted for pipelines provinces and municipalities should not be able to put up further roadblocks to the projects. By trying to help in the economic recovery of Saskatchewan residents Brad Wall is also acting in the best economic interest of Albertans. It is unfortunate that Rachel Notley is not acting in that manner, although Alberta has been granted intervener status.
The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion file illustrates how out of depth the Alberta NDP are in their first term governing the province. The NDP is running record deficits and is forecast to rack up $40 billion in debt through their four-year term. The huge deficits are due to large increases in spending. The only chance for the NDP to balance the budget is massive increases in resource revenues. However, the NDP is acting in a manner that will limit future increases in resource revenue.
Rachel Notley has been paying lip service about pushing for pipeline construction to help re-invigorate the Alberta economy. However, her actions betray what she says publicly. After her election in 2015 Notley’s government set up an oilsands advisory committee. Notley appointed Tzeporah Berman to the advisory committee.
Berman formerly served as a director of Greenpeace. She publicly compared the oilsands to Mordor, the wasteland in the Lord of the Rings universe. Berman also publicly advocated against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Notley’s government begrudgingly filed for intervener status on the Trans Mountain pipeline hearings. Up to this week, she wouldn’t publicly promote pipeline construction. She appointed someone strongly opposed to oilsands and pipelines to her oilsands advisory committee. The old truism that actions speak louder than words certainly applies to Rachel Notley with respect to her actions on the pipeline file.
Notley claims to support pipelines to get Alberta energy resources to market. No one should believe her when she purports to defend Alberta pipelines. Notley’s lies are as transparent as Hillary Clinton’s. Lying works for politicians until it doesn’t. Notley’s lies are unlikely to work for much longer as the economy in Alberta continues to sputter along.
If Notley supported pipelines she wouldn’t have appointed Tzeporah Berman to her oilsands advisory committee. A strong opponent of the oilsands would not support pipelines. Notley knew that Berman was opposed to the oilsands and appointed Berman to the advisory committee anyways. Notley has not instructed the Alberta bureaucracy to apply for intervener status in the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion hearings.
Her actions make it clear that Notley’s claims to support pipelines are unquestionable lies. Albertan’s won’t get a chance to make Notley pay for her lies until the spring of 2019. However, if Notley is lying about honouring the fixed election law we may go to the polls earlier than that.