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Alberta suspends electricity purchase talks with B.C

“This is not an Alberta – B.C. issue. This is a Canada – B.C. issue.”

That’s the message from Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who says she told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau more needs to be done about B.C. over proposed restrictions on shipments of bitumen through the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Trudeau spoke on the issue on CBC Radio Thursday morning, but Notley says his comments were not strong enough.

“B.C. isn’t just taking a run at working people in Alberta and in B.C., they’re taking a run at the authority of the federal government,” she said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “In so doing, they’re standing in the way of jobs that are not only well paying but are badly needed.”

Alberta is responding by suspending talks with British Columbia on purchasing electricity from the province through existing lines. Notley says they could have meant $500 million a year if finalized, and don’t include potential buys from the Site C dam.

Notley adds there are also plans to take the issue to court. In the meantime, she hopes the federal government will intervene.

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“They can put an end to this conflict; they can put an end to this undue delay and costly uncertainty,” she says. “They can commit specifically to the tools that they will use to make sure that [the Trans Mountain pipeline] happens.”

Earlier Thursday, B.C. Premier John Horgan said he was surprised by Notley’s reaction, maintaining that province is simply looking at the consequences of a potential spill.


Story by Erica Fisher. 

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