Against the Wall: Notley Spat with Saskatchewan Premier Exposes Friction on Oil

By Cook, Tim | The Canadian Press, July 17, 2015 | Go to article overview

Against the Wall: Notley Spat with Saskatchewan Premier Exposes Friction on Oil


Cook, Tim, The Canadian Press


Wall, Notley clash over different approaches

--

EDMONTON - Brad Wall says the time for soft-selling the oil and gas industry in the rest of the country is over.

The Saskatchewan premier took rookie Premier Rachel Notley to task this week for suggesting Quebec would approve of the Energy East oil pipeline if Alberta could show it has its environmental house in order.

Wall suggested that was akin to giving Quebec a veto over an important national energy project. He then took shots at Central and Eastern Canada for soaking up transfer payments funded by economic success in the West.

Notley called that showboating.

Wall said "show me to the bridge."

The rift exposed new friction between Alberta, which just elected its first non-Tory government in more than 40 years, and Saskatchewan, which has the only provincial government west of Newfoundland with firm roots in the Conservative brand.

Wall, who leads the right-leaning Saskatchewan Party, wouldn't back down Friday. He said the West shouldn't have to apologize for its resources and needs to stop being so diplomatic with its message.

"We've all done it. I'm not sure what it has availed Western Canada," Wall told The Canadian Press. "We got the national energy program for all of our goodwill and we have had precisely no pipelines approved and we have increasing calls for greater regulation.

"I think if more Canadians knew that we import foreign oil from places like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and that Energy East would end that, there would be great support for it, but we have to say it," he said.

"We've got to be direct and say that bluntly. And that's what I am trying to do."

Notley, fresh from her first premiers meeting -- where the leaders passed a national energy strategy that backs both project development and climate action -- wasn't backing down either.

She's trying a different approach after years of Alberta Tory governments pushing energy projects on other provinces and pushing back on being told what to do. …

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