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Notley fundraising trips damaging chances at Energy East

By appearing at big-money fundraisers for politicians opposed to Energy East, Premier Rachel Notley is hurting Alberta’s chances of securing a pipeline to tidewater, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

Notley appeared alongside Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath last Friday at a $10,000-a-head corporate and labour fundraiser in Toronto. The event generated around $200,000 for the Ontario NDP, a party working to obstruct TransCanada’s Energy East project by requesting the Government of Ontario “follow the lead of Quebec and commit to a full provincial environmental assessment of the pipeline” on top of federal approvals and create a list of strict conditions for Alberta.

Notley’s office hid the details of the trip from the Alberta media, saying instead she went to Ontario to pick up an award.

“It’s unacceptable that Ms. Notley was secretly raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for a political party that is ideologically opposed to pipelines, at a time when thousands of Albertans who make their living in the energy sector are losing their jobs,” Wildrose Shadow Economic Development, Trade and Innovation Minister Prasad Panda said. “There is no doubt the Ontario NDP will turn around and use this money to ramp up their efforts against Energy East, and any other pipelines coming from Alberta.”

Panda said the issue is made worse by the fact Notley tried to hide the details from the Alberta public, considering her actions will have a direct impact on everyday Alberta families.

“Ms. Notley clearly understood the ramifications of her actions on Alberta jobs and the economy, which is why she tried to hide the details of this fundraiser from the public,” Panda said. “Pipelines are the safest and least carbon-intensive way of moving energy products. This trip was a giant step backwards for Energy East, and all pipelines.”

It’s no secret NDP parties across the country oppose pipeline development. The Ontario NDP oppose Enbridge’s Line 9. The BC NDP oppose Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion projects. And the Manitoba NDP has requested intervener status on Energy East.

Alberta’s ethics commissioner is currently investigating this fundraising controversy.