Posted on May 12, 2021


EDMONTON - NDP Leader Rachel Notley is calling on Jason Kenney to show up as Premier of Alberta and advocate for Line 5 as the Governor of Michigan continues her attempts to shut the pipeline down. 

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has argued Line 5 risks environmental damage and has taken steps to try to permanently shut down the pipeline. She has given Enbridge until midnight on Wednesday to shut it down or else she will seize profits collected from the line if the company does not comply. 

“The situation with Line 5 in Michigan is reaching a critical moment. Historically, Alberta has been a leading voice - both nationally and internationally - on matters of energy policy and diplomacy,” said Notley. “The working people of this province, and our broader economy, depend on the success of our energy industry. Albertans are asking why the current Premier is nowhere to be seen at this critical moment.”

In November, Kenney called the Governor of Michigan “brain dead” and then complained in a radio interview that he could not even get a meeting with her during a trip to the state in 2019.

Despite Kenney campaigning in the last election on his so-called “fight-back strategy,” he has been unable to get any additional pipelines built, including Keystone XL after losing over $1 billion on the project. Instead, his UCP government has been tainted by embarrassments from his War Room and an overdue and over-budget public inquiry.

Notley also pointed to the UCP’s record on climate change as damaging Alberta’s ability to be at the table for critical decisions. UCP MLAs have repeatedly questioned the science around climate change and the government rolled back environmental monitoring during the pandemic.

Notley called for a comprehensive and strategic diplomatic approach to relations with state governments and the White House, as well as a coalition of support for critical infrastructure in the United States and Canada.

While in government, the NDP brought Canadian premiers together, completed the Canadian Energy Strategy, launched a campaign that was vital in moving support for the Trans Mountain expansion from 40 per cent to 70 per cent, and was successful in getting construction started on the pipeline. 

“Throughout Alberta’s history, we have led the energy conversation nationally and internationally. That is one of the historical roles of Alberta’s Premier,” said Notley. 

“Albertans who earn their livelihood - directly or indirectly - from the energy industry deserve nothing less. Jason Kenney needs to show up on this issue.”