Rachel Notley says it’s payback time for Alberta

‘Now is the time when we need our federal government to come here and to work with us’

(Amber Bracken, The Canadian Press)

(Amber Bracken, The Canadian Press)

EDMONTON — Alberta has done “a lot of heavy lifting” for Canada for many years, and now it’s time for some payback from Ottawa, says Premier Rachel Notley.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Edmonton today and will meet with Notley to talk about a broad range of topics.

Notley said she is pleased Trudeau is coming to visit, but there’s one thing she wants to make crystal clear.

“The message will be delivered very, very clearly that Alberta needs the support of our federal government, we’ve truly been a fundamental part of the Canadian economy,” Notley said.

“Now is the time when we need our federal government to come here and to work with us, to support us during the difficult times that we’re facing.”

The province’s oil sector is also looking for strong signals that Trudeau is serious about helping deliver its controversial commodity to tidewater.

Related reading: The death of the Alberta dream 

Mark Scholz, president of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, said federal support on the contentious issue of building pipelines is crucial.

He warned if the industry can’t get its product to market, then Alberta businesses are going to fail.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau declined Tuesday to answer several questions about whether Ottawa would provide targeted assistance for Alberta.

Instead, Morneau said the federal government’s upcoming budget will include spending plans to invest in Canada’s entire economy, which he argued will help struggling provinces such as Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Alberta.

Morneau confirmed that Alberta is working on an application for up to $250 million in federal cash under the fiscal stabilization program, a plan designed to help provinces struck by big year-to-year declines in revenues.

The Newfoundland government, which has also lost revenues in the oil-price slump, indicated Tuesday that it intends to make a claim under the stabilization program this spring. The province could be eligible for a maximum of about $32 million under the program.

Morneau said he’s unsure whether Newfoundland and Saskatchewan would qualify for the program, although they could apply.

Trudeau’s trip takes place as the regional battle over pipelines heats up.

Related reading: The decline of the Alberta dream, in one chart 

Earlier this month, the premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan expressed dismay after Montreal-area municipal leaders publicly voiced their opposition to the proposed Energy East project, which would transport Prairie oil through their territory to tidewater in New Brunswick. They argued that potential threats to the environment outweigh any economic benefits.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has questioned whether Quebecers should continue to expect billions in equalization payments if they won’t support the export of resources that help drive those payments.

On Monday, he challenged Trudeau to take a stand and support the project.

“We need a champion for the energy sector,” Wall said after delivering a speech in Regina.

Pipeline politics have also dominated debate in Parliament, where the Conservatives have accused the Liberal government of causing more harm to Alberta workers.

Last week, the federal government announced additional environmental reviews to bolster public confidence in the pipeline assessment process, including more consultations with indigenous communities.

Environmental groups argue any new pipeline approval by Ottawa would undermine the Liberals’ vow to cut greenhouse gas emissions.



Rachel Notley says it’s payback time for Alberta

  1. PM Buttercup is planning to send Unicorn farts through the Energy East pipeline. Mental midgets, both of them.

    • We don’t need your oil baby cakes.

      go freeze in the dark with your bankruptcy

    • Yes, no doubt the absolute brilliance of Harper would have meant oil prices would not have dropped.


  2. I am happy with the quick infrastructure money coming to Alberta.

    I think it is nonsense for people to say Trudeau has to support energy east. I think he does support it, but it is important that the process go through the NERB in order to ensure environmental protection is taken seriously. I think in the long run it will be approved. In any event, that answer cannot come before 2018.

    In the meantime, it is true that Alberta has been the engine of the Canadian economy and Notley is correct that we should be on the receiving end of federal investments right now. Those provinces who do not like our dirty oil are free to put their money where their mouths are, and ask for Alberta revenues to be taken out of the equation when they receive their transfer payments.

    • Oil has never been the engine of our economy, and as far as I’m concerned, you can take your begging bowl elsewhere

      • Oh Emily. It must be nice to live in a world where reality and facts don’t matter.

        Please call the rest of Canada and tell them to let Alberta keep all the tax revenues collected there.

        Ha ha ha ha ha

        • Ontario supplies 40% of Canada’s GDP, Alberta supplies 16%, get out from under the Alberta propaganda wing.

          • OK then, you should not be hesitant to call Canada and tell them to let Alberta keep all the tax revenues collected there then.

            Sure, that will have a major impact on Ontario and Quebec, who, you know, receive equalization payments and stuff, but the oil is DIRTY, so they should not want the money anyway.

            Oh, and then there is this:

            “How much does Alberta matter? Well, as with any good native Albertan (full disclosure – born and raised), my knee-jerk tendency is to say “way more than the rest of you bastards combined.” But in the current Canadian economy, that’s alarmingly close to accurate. Alberta contributed one-third of Canada’s economic growth last year, and is by far the fastest-growing province in the country again this year. Since the beginning of 2013, nearly half the jobs created in the country were in Alberta.

            The unavoidable conclusion is that much of the country’s economic health is tied to a mid-sized province whose overwhelmingly dominant industry is sneezing louder day by day.”


            (Unlike some people, I think it is important to come to a discussion with actual facts and figures, so that all parties understand the reference and the context.)

            Anyway, I am already breaking my rule about not acknowledging you, since there is no point trying to reason with someone who is incapable of reason, so I shall leave you to the last word.


          • Gayle, Alberta is a tiny province that hasn’t contributed a nickel to Ontario. Repeating hinterland myths won’t do you the slightest bit of good.

            All you have to do is look it up. Ontario would be very happy to get rid of the drag a bunch of cowboys and their campfire stories tell each other.

  3. * Alberta has done “a lot of heavy lifting” for Canada for many years, and now it’s time for some payback from Ottawa, says Premier Rachel Notley.

    A provincial non-Conservative government asking this of a federal non-Conservative government. Not a good sign.

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