Alberta Premier Rachel Notley took her pro-pipeline tour to the heart of the energy industry in Calgary on Friday where she urged business leaders not to let up on the message that Canada's climate progress depends on pipeline progress.
Speaking in front of the Calgary Chamber, Notley assured the audience that she has been delivering that message in person all week to audiences in Ontario in an effort to see progress on pipelines, especially with Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain project that faces resistance in British Columbia.
"The time to speak up is now," said Notley, calling on both business leaders and Albertans of all political stripes to get out and talk about climate action, pipeline safety, and the importance of the energy industry for the overall economy. "This is all about our common future. And it's bigger than any party label. As business leaders, your voice matters."
Touting the enormous economic benefits Alberta contributes to Canada, and the need to preserve good jobs in the energy sector while making progress on the environment, Notley was thanked for her efforts with a standing ovation from a crowd that greeted her with lukewarm applause two years ago.
Notley also called on the federal Liberals, as she had when in Ottawa and Toronto this week, to do more to advocate for the pipeline.
"You have to step up," she said. "This project is in the national interest, that's why it got approved."
"Now, more than ever, Canadians need our national government to articulate, and then defend the national interest," she added.
Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada, thanked Notley for her strong advocacy on behalf of the project and the industry in his introduction of the premier.
"You've been a strong and unwavering supporter of ours, and our industry. Your voice is being heard loud and clear across the country," he said.
He noted the importance of the public relations campaign as Kinder Morgan has still yet to put shovels in the ground for a project that the federal government approved a year ago.
"While we had hoped that we would have been putting Albertans to work, I can assure you we will very soon be putting Albertans to work and we will be commencing construction as soon as we possibly can on the project," he said.
Notley takes her pipeline tour to Vancouver next week where there exists some of the fiercest opposition to a project that would nearly triple the capacity of the pipeline running from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C.