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Notley in talks with B.C. on potential pipeline for electricity swap: CBC

(Photo Supplied: A map of the proposed route for the Northern Gateway pipeline. Northern Gateway / WEB)

Premier Rachel Notley seems to be softening her stance on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that would run from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C.

According to the CBC talks are underway between Alberta and its western neighbour on a trade deal that would see British-Columbia support the pipeline; in return Alberta would buy electricity from B.C. The talks were first reported by the Globe and Mail.

Minister of Energy Margaret McCuaig-Boyd told the CBC that multilateral talks are underway but that they’re not at the point where the sides are offering a straight up trade.

“It’s not there yet. We’re just talking about what-ifs,” McCuaig-Boyd told the CBC Thursday. “It’s really how can we work together to get ‘yes’ as a nation to pipelines and the mutual benefit for all of us.”

Notley has previously doubted that the Northern Gateway pipeline could get through pressure from environmentalists and first nations. The project was approved by the National Energy Board in 2014 with 209 conditions.

The B.C. government will have plenty of electricity to sell once its Site C hydroelectric project on the Peace River is up and running and trade could certainly beneficial for both provinces.

Fort McMurray – Conklin MLA and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean told the CBC that he was surprised by the move, but welcomed Notley’s apparent change of heart.

“I am glad they are moving in that direction,” Jean told the CBC. “I’m very excited to see that they are seeing the light and changing their mind.”

The proposed $6.5 billion project would provide Alberta oil with access to the Pacific Rim.

– With files from The Canadian Press