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Singh Backs BC NDP on Kinder Morgan

Despite support for pipeline from Alberta’s Notley, federal leader against project.

By Andrew MacLeod 6 Nov 2017 | TheTyee.ca

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

New federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is supporting the B.C. government’s fight to block the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion despite Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s wish to see the project go ahead.

“I’ve made it clear that I have three criteria when it comes to deciding with respect to energy projects,” Singh told reporters in Victoria where he gave a speech Saturday to the BC NDP convention. “On these three criteria I’ve stated my concerns with, my opposition to, the Kinder Morgan project.”

Any energy project needs to respect the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, meet climate change goals and objectives and create local opportunities, said Singh, who won the federal NDP leadership last month on the first ballot.

The Alberta NDP government strongly supports Kinder Morgan’s proposal to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal federal government approved the project in 2016.

In B.C., Premier John Horgan’s minority NDP government, which depends on the votes of three Green Party MLAs, has pledged to use every tool available to stop the project. After the NDP formed government in July, it announced it would join court challenges to the pipeline.

Despite their differences on Trans Mountain, Notley and Horgan share much in common and will find ways to move forward based on their shared principles and values, Singh said.

Horgan said people understand that NDP leaders can have disagreements. “I don’t see anything confusing about it. Rachel is the premier of Alberta, I’m the premier of British Columbia and Jagmeet Singh is the leader of the federal NDP. I think the public will look at the three of us and say that the NDP is in pretty good hands federally, here in B.C. and in Alberta.”

He said he expects Canadians and British Columbians will like Singh as they get to know him, but stressed the independence of individual New Democrat parties.

“The federal and provincial parties are separate. I don’t take orders from Jagmeet, nor does he take direction from me... I don’t tell him what to do and he doesn’t tell me what to do.”  [Tyee]

Read more: Federal Politics

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