B.C. Opposition Leader John Horgan is among them and has already gone on-record suggesting the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project from Alberta to the northwest B.C. coast was dealt a crippling blow by the NDP victory.
Defeated Conservative Premier Jim Prentice – who announced his departure from politics after conceding defeat to Notley – was Alberta’s primary backer of the Enbridge project, which would also include the tanker shipment to Asia of oil sands bitumen carried by the pipeline to terminals on the coast.
However, again citing the B.C. government’s conditions for project approval, Premier Christy Clark insists that on this issue, she is on the same page as Alberta Premier-elect.
“What I’ve heard her say is that she believes Alberta’s resources, if they come through British Columbia and other places, need to acquire social licence,” says Clark. “Her predecessor said the same thing – I’ve been saying that, not to the most perceptive audience initially, for a long time – those projects can’t go ahead unless they meet the five conditions, and the five conditions haven’t been met yet.”
Meantime, former NDP Premier Ujjal Dosanjh is also inclined to be believe there will not be a major shift in resource management by the Notley government.
“My view is that she’s a socially progressive, centrist person with good economic sense,” says Dosanjh. “I’m quite confident that she’s aware of the importance of the energy economy to Alberta and the country.”
“I don’t think that she believes that even if you’re in government, you can somehow change the needle far away from the centre, in terms of governing.”
The $6.5 billion Northern Gateway pipeline already has federal government approval but moving forward, Enbridge must demonstrate to the National Energy Board how it will meet 209 conditions.