Posted on Apr 2, 2020


EDMONTON - The NDP Official Opposition is calling on Premier Jason Kenney and the UCP government to release details about the Keystone XL deal that committed up to $7.5 billion in public dollars to the project. 


On Tuesday, Kenney announced his government was providing $1.5 billion in equity investment and a $6-billion loan guarantee to back the Keystone XL project. The UCP has put forward a motion in the legislature requesting support for the deal, but has not shared any details.


The NDP Opposition will be proposing an amendment to the motion, asking the government to provide full disclosure of the deal to the public and that all members of the Legislature be briefed on the associated costs, benefits, and risks. A second amendment will propose to refer the deal to the Public Accounts Committee for further analysis and consultation with the Auditor General to ensure Albertans are getting good value for money.


“We support the oil and gas industry and that’s why we also support the Keystone XL pipeline because we understand its strategic value to Alberta’s oil and gas industry,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “That is why, when we were in Government, we supported it by committing to ship 50,000 barrels per day.


“However, the Government of Alberta’s commitment of up to $7.5 billion of Albertans’ money is unprecedented and people deserve to know the details of the deal and the genuine risks associated with this project.”


Under the deal, the UCP state they will sell their shares in the project back to TC Energy one year after the pipeline becomes operational. On Tuesday, Kenney was asked what the price would be, but he was unable to provide a figure.


Finally, given that Albertans are now financing a major portion of Keystone XL, the Opposition requests that TC Energy and the UCP government provide further oversight of how public dollars are spent. This includes ensuring workers have a seat on the company’s board of directors, guarantees that payroll is maintained, collective agreements remain in place, and all construction labour is procured through unionized building trades.


“We have a duty to ensure Albertans’ money is being spent wisely and in a way that provides the maximum benefit to Albertans, jobs, and our economy,” Notley said.


Notley also committed the Official Opposition would continue to press the Government for a plan to diversify the economy, noting that, to date, the UCP have offered nothing substantial to overcome the fiscal challenges facing Alberta.


Without full clarity on the value for money and risks for Albertans, the Opposition can’t endorse the details of the deal.