Province spending $1.2M on ad campaign in support of pipeline


Two"kayactivists outside the entrance to the Westridge marine terminal by water Wednesday morning

Alberta, BC, and the federal government have been at odds for the past few months, with British Columbia battling for the rights to restrict the amount of bitumen that can flow to its shores - a court case that, if won, could stop the pipeline expansion in its tracks.

The company threw the $7.4-billion expansion into doubt last month when it stopped non-essential spending on the project and spelled out a May 31 deadline to restore certainty.

Alberta has spent $1.29 million on this nationwide advertising campaign, $700,000 dedicated to advertising in British Columbia, including digital board locations in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Kamloops and the West Kootenays, Abbotsford worldwide and Nanaimo regional airports.

Premier Rachel Notley announced a national campaign to educate Canadians on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed the pipeline will be built, and has instructed Finance Minister Bill Morneau to sit down with Kinder Morgan to find a financial solution that will soothe their investors. Trudeau's government approved expansion of the Trans Mountain line in 2016, but the B.C. government has been fighting it.

Billboards supporting the massive west coast pipeline expansion project - which has provoked a provincial struggle and split public opinion - have been going up in B.C. over the last week in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Kamloops, Notley said at a news conference at the legislature in Edmonton. "B.C. should be quite frankly careful what it asks for". It would have the potential to cause gasoline and other fuel-related prices to spike in B.C.

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Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd told the house that two years is a reasonable time and the amendment doesn't tie the government's hands.

Remarks like that are having an ever-shrinking impact, Notley said.

"We do have a very big effective tool at our disposal".

"We will marshal every constitutional and legal argument available to make sure BC does not succeed in playing chicken with the rest of the Canadian economy", says Notley.

"We are confident in Parliament's jurisdiction and will intervene on the question in order to defend our clear jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines", she said in a statement.

The bill is getting support from all sides of the house. The industry has said new pipelines are necessary to spur jobs and growth.

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