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Alberta's Notley wants action on B.C. pipeline impasse by next week

Last Updated Feb 16, 2018 at 6:40 pm EDT

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley makes remarks before the first meeting of the Market Access Task Force, convened to respond to B.C. in the fight over the Trans Mountain oil pipeline, in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday February 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she wants progress soon in the impasse between her province and British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline or she will ratchet up the pressure.

“We’d like to see some evidence of progress next week or you will hear more from us about other strategies that might be going forward,” Notley said Friday.

“(In the meantime) we’re giving everybody space to have conversations.”

Notley said she wants B.C. to reverse its decision to ban increased shipping of bitumen off its coast pending a review of spill safety measures.

Alberta believes the move will effectively kill Kinder Morgan Canada’s pipeline expansion, which the province deems critical to getting a better price for its oil.

Federal officials are meeting with their counterparts in B.C. to find a solution to the dispute, which is now in its third week.

Notley says the federal government — not B.C. — has the final say on what is transported through interprovincial pipelines.

She has already ended talks to buy more electricity from B.C. and has stopped the import of that province’s wine into Alberta.

She has also struck a 19-member committee to find ways to put further pressure on British Columbia.

Notley said she likes B.C. wines, but the issue is about fairness.

“I like that wine, really I do,” said Notley. “But I also know a lot of British Columbians who like to drive their cars, who like to fly in planes when they go on vacation or work, and who also like to heat their homes using Alberta energy products.”

Transportation bottlenecks and being captive to the North American market mean steeply discounted prices for Canadian oil every day, she said.

“Tens of millions of dollars of Canadian wealth evaporates,” she said. “That wealth reappears south of the border in Donald Trump’s America.

“Why, why would we do that? What kind of country operates that way? Not our country. It shouldn’t be our country.”

(Companies in this story: TSX:KML)