Alberta touts 'shared goals' on climate change in B.C. newspaper ads

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Alberta-B.C. pipeline feud is federal government's responsibility

The Alberta government placed full-page newspaper advertisements in British Columbia newspapers Wednesday that tout the provinces' shared goals on climate change and jobs, the latest tactic in a campaign to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built to the Pacific coast.

The ad titled "We used to be so close" appeared in the print editions of the Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province, Victoria Times-Colonist and the B.C. editions of the National Post and Globe and Mail.

The cost of the campaign is estimated at $62,000.

B.C. and Alberta have much in common, particularly on the issue of climate change, "despite the current differences between our governments," the ad copy states.

"We both agree that climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our generation. That's why Alberta has taken decisive action."

The ad continues: "We're the first jurisdiction in the world to voluntarily cap its emissions. We've introduced Canada's strongest carbon pricing. And we're phasing out our coal power—currently the source of most of our electricity—over the next 12 years."

Kinder Morgan's $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project was approved by the federal government in 2016. It would nearly triple capacity of the current pipeline system to 890,000 barrels a day.

The Alberta government contends that getting a pipeline built to the Pacific coast would allow Canada to fetch world prices for Alberta crude. Currently, Canada only has one customer for its oil — the United States.

Industry group taking legal action

But late last month, the B.C. government proposed a restriction on shipments of diluted bitumen while the province studies the risk of oil spills on the Pacific coast.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says that proposal is unconstitutional, In retaliation, the province's Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) two weeks ago imposed a ban on imports of B.C. wine.

On Monday, the B.C. government laid a complaint against Alberta under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, which can fine violators up to $10 million.

The B.C. Wine Institute said Wednesday it was taking legal action against the AGLC.

The AGLC had 160,000 cases, or about a 30-to 35-day stock of B.C. wine, on Feb. 6. The stock is down to 81,841 cases on Feb. 20, which is roughly about 15 days worth of orders.