Alberta Premier to meet Quebec and Ontario counterparts to garner Energy East pipeline support

Jim Prentice, the Premier of Alberta, says he is scheduled to meet the Premiers of Quebec and Ontario – Philippe Couillard and Kathleen Wynne – later this week to garner their support for the Energy East pipeline.

According to a spokeswoman, Mr. Prentice will meet Mr. Couillard on Tuesday and Ms. Wynne on Wednesday.

The Ontarian and Quebecois leaders signed a list of agreements earlier this month aimed at co-operating on climate change, trade, the sale of alcohol, and energy projects. They also established a list of conditions over the Energy East pipeline project.

They jointly insist there be contingency and emergency response programs already in place, ensuring that First Nations are consulted and that those proposing the project are aware of its environmental impact and greenhouse gas emissions.

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice

Mr. Prentice wants to meet the two Premiers face-to-face to discuss the $12 billion proposal. (Photo: Government of Alberta)

The Albertan Premier describes the proposed project as a national-building one that will benefit several regions in the country, including Quebec and Ontario.

The pipeline, if approved, would transport over 1 million barrels of western crude each day from Saskatchewan and Alberta to oil refineries in Eastern Canada, from where they can then be exported and earn money for the country.

Ms. Wynne said she had contacted Mr. Prentice last week to explain the principles that Quebec and Ontario want considered in the approval process.

Philippe Couillard

Mr.Couillard (above) said Ms. Wynne should meet up with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (Photo: Gouvernement du Québec)

Mr. Prentice said:

“I start from a position that these are two premiers with whom we can do business. Two premiers who are interested in building the Canadian federation and who have put out, what they’ve put out, in an attempt to be constructive. That’s the view I will take going into these meetings.”

“The port facilities associated with that project are not going to be in Alberta. They’re going to be elsewhere in Canada. And the turbines that are sourced for that project will be certainly fabricated in the province of Ontario – not in Alberta – so this is a Canadian project with benefits for all of us as Canadians. We need to remain focused on that.”

Kathleen Wynne

Ms. Wynne said she hoped Mr. Prentice would find that the seven principles she and Mr. Couillard agreed on were reasonable. (Photo: Gouvernement du Québec)

The Saskatchewan legislature is urging Quebec and Ontario to recognize the National Energy Board as the right authority to review the proposal and remove unnecessary obstacles to the pipeline.