Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to media before the Speech from the Throne, in Edmonton on March 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

There won’t be any fireworks between the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia at the Western premiers conference this week, because Alberta Premier Rachel Notley isn’t going.

B.C.’s John Horgan and Notley, who have butted heads over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, were both scheduled to be in Yellowknife at the conference, which starts Tuesday.

But Cheryl Oates, a spokeswoman for Notley, said in an email Monday afternoon that Notley will be staying in Alberta to complete a deal to secure the construction of the pipeline.

“With 10 days remaining before Kinder Morgan’s deadline, my only priority is to make sure the pipeline gets built,” Notley said in a tweet.

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman will be attending the conference on Notley’s behalf.

Horgan said last week that B.C. and Alberta disagree on the pipeline expansion, but that he and Notley are in agreement on a number of other issues, and have been friends for 20 years.

READ MORE: B.C. heading to court over Alberta’s threat to restrict fuel exports

READ MORE: Pipeline deal won’t cause tension at premiers conference: Horgan

Horgan said he didn’t anticipate any high tension at the conference, even when Notley was still planning to be there, and that he expected the main focus of the meeting to be the development of a national pharmacare program.

Notley, however, fired back on Twitter on Monday evening.

“It would be surreal and exceptionally tone deaf for anyone to think we could politely discuss pharmacare and cannabis when one of the players is hard at work trying to choke the economic lifeblood of the province and the country,” the Alberta premier wrote.

Horgan wasn’t commenting Monday on Notley’s decision to skip the conference.

Alberta has passed legislation allowing it to limit fuel exports to B-C, but British Columbia countered by announcing plans for a lawsuit that would declare Alberta’s legislation unconstitutional.

Even without the Alberta premier’s presence at the premiers conference, Horgan could still face pressure from other premiers.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said last week that he wants to speak about the pipeline’s benefits when he’s at the conference.

“I’m very concerned that we are missing an opportunity here in this nation to advance our economic benefit here, not just in Saskatchewan, but in Western Canada and the nation of Canada,” Moe said.

Moe has said the federal government should withhold sending federal infrastructure money to B.C. over that province’s opposition to Trans Mountain. (CKRM)

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

WATCH: Vernon ready to wheel out special cycling program

Cycling Without Age aims to give seniors and less-abled bodies free rides on specially made bike

Telus supports second chapter of Vernon reading program

Literacy initiative gains $10,000 boost

‘Mountain high’ sewer rates frustrate Silver Star property owners

Silverhawk Utilities said they are working to address the property owners association’s concerns

Queen Silver Star issues call for Vernon royalty

Applications sought for excellence program from North Okanagan teens

Overdose training challenge picks up in Vernon

Various groups and businesses working to save lives

Temperatures on the rise for the Okanagan Valley

Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather update

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Vernon RCMP officers get their man

Individual arrested in takedown along Alexis Park Drive Monday afternoon

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Kelowna DJs organize own shows to fill gap in music scene

The DJs wanted to create somewhere people could enjoy their music safely

In Photos: Classic snowmobiles pushed to their limits in fun races

The Burner in Malakwa served as the venue for races show cases older sleds

Most Read