Alberta premier Rachel Notley calls Kinder Morgan pipeline the poster child for cooperative federalism

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      The premiers of Alberta and B.C. remain at odds over the Trans Mountain pipeline following a meeting this morning with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

      Alberta premier Rachel Notley told reporters that there is only one outcome: the Kinder Morgan-owned project will be constructed.

      "It is the poster child for cooperative federalism," she said.

      She also claimed that the "failure to act" on this $7.4-billion project is costing the Canadian economy $40 million per day.

      A week ago, Kinder Morgan announced that it would suspend nonessential spending on the project after repeated protests outside its Burnaby tank farm.

      Notley said that her government will establish a "financial relationship" with the pipeline company that "will eliminate financial risk". 

      She also accused B.C. of launching court challenges as a means of delaying the project, noting that she doesn't think it's in the country's best interest "to engage in esoteric debates".

      She repeated a previous pledge to introduce legislation this week ensuring that the province has a say on where its natural resources can be exported. The clear implication is that the Alberta government may cut off oil exports to B.C.

      B.C. premier John Horgan described the meeting with Notley and Trudeau as "collegial". Horgan also revealed that Trudeau didn't engage in any financial threats against the province.

      The B.C. premier added that he sought advice from Quebec premier Philippe Couillard prior to attending the meeting.

      Quebec's minister responsible for Canadian relations, Jean-Marc Fourier, has expressed alarm over the federal government's eagerness to claim exclusive jurisdiction and potential willingness to override provincial jurisdiction.

      Horgan said that his government will respect the rule of law and abide by any final decision by the courts.

      However, he didn't back down on his determination to protect B.C.'s coastline.

      "We remain committed to ensuring we retain our jurisdiction in this regard," Horgan said.

      Trudeau told reporters that the pipeline has the support of 43 Indigenous groups, including 33 in B.C.

      He also talked up his ocean-protection plan and his hope of leaving the world as a better place.

      "The Trans Mountain pipeline is a vital strategic interest to Canada," Trudeau said. "It will be built."

      To further that goal, Trudeau said Finance Minister Bill Morneau will hold "formal financial discussions with Kinder Morgan" to "remove the uncertainty" around the project.

      The prime minister claimed that British Columbians do not object to Alberta resources reaching markets. Rather, he insisted that B.C. residents simply want their coastline protected.

      "I have also informed premiers Notley and Horgan today that we are actively pursuing legislative options that will assert and reinforce the government of Canada's jurisdiction in this matter, which we know we clearly have," he said.

      Trudeau's words haven't gone over particularly well with Chief Bob Chamberlin, vice president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

      Indigenous comedian Ryan McMahon noted on his Twitter feed that First Nations people weren't invited to the Trudeau-Notley-Horgan summit.

      As for the claim that so many First Nations are supporting the project, that too has come under criticism on Twitter.

      Meanwhile, Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer has pointed out that the NDP government's position does not completely reflect the party's stance during the 2017 election campaign.

      Prior to the election, the NDP pledged to use "every tool in our toolbox". This view was echoed in a confidence and supply agreement reached between the NDP and B.C. Green caucuses before Horgan was sworn in as premier.

      Now, the NDP government is granting permits to Kinder Morgan and is prepared to let the courts be the final arbiter.