Turns out, Northern Gateway isn’t as dead as first thought. Alberta’s Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous confirms bilateral talks between the two provinces have picked up, although he isn’t specific about the discussions
“You know I’m encouraged at the fact that I think there’s a willingness to come together and discussions are ongoing,” Bilous told reporters on a teleconference about job creation. “It’s a little early for me to comment further, but I can tell you that are talks that are occurring as we speak.”
Up until recently the NDP government’s position on the pipeline was that the obstacles were too great to get it build to the B.C. west coast. However talks are ongoing between both governments that would see B.C. help get the pipeline built in exchange for a long-term contract for Alberta to buy electricity from it’s $8 billion Site-C dam in the province’s northeast.
Notley told the Globe and Mail’s Gary Mason this week that her position is evolving since taking office. She is not as opposed as she once was.
“I think that there are possibilities absolutely,” Bilous said. “Obviously there are conditions, there are processes that we need to go through and we believe in those processes.”
B.C. Premier Christy Clark took to twitter to reaffirm the five conditions for approval still exist. Part of that is the insistence that B.C. get “it’s fair share” of revenue.
“There’s an understanding between Alberta and British Columbia with our transitioning off coal fired electricity to renewables but also looking at replacing that electricity generation there’s opportunities to partner with the province of British Columbia,” Bilous said.
Northern Gateway is projected to cost $6.5 billion. The National Energy Board approved it in concept but placed 209 conditions on it in 2014. It also still faces major opposition as well from First Nations and environmental groups.
(sj-with files from CHQR)