​Trudeau, Notley standing by Kinder Morgan despite B.C. NDP-Green alliance

Image: Government of Alberta

ROME _ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is standing by the Kinder Morgan pipeline project, even as the New Democrats and Greens in B.C. are teaming up to fight it.

"The decision we took on the Trans Mountain pipeline was based on facts and evidence on what is in the best interests of Canadians and indeed, all of Canada," Trudeau said Tuesday in Rome, where he held a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

"Regardless of the change in government in British Columbia or anywhere, the facts and evidence do not change."

Trudeau said his Liberal government understands that growing a strong economy requires taking leadership on both the environment and the economy.

"That is what drives us in the choices we make," he said.

"We stand by those choices."

His comments come as the anti-pipeline Green Party and NDP in British Columbia announced Monday they've come to an agreement that could cast doubt on the project's future.

The leaders of the two parties say they've reached a deal that could see the formation of a minority NDP government in the province.

Both have voiced their opposition to the Trans Mountain expansion, which would see the pipeline running from Edmonton to Burnaby nearly triple its capacity.

Kinder Morgan is expected to proceed Tuesday with its initial public offering for the expansion.

Alberta NDP premier Rachel Notley issued a statement Tuesday morning saying:

“Should an accord between the B.C. NDP and the B.C .Green Party result in a John Horgan-led government, I know Mr. Horgan and I will be able to work together on important issues facing our two provinces…

“It’s important to note that provinces do not have the right to unilaterally stop projects such as Trans Mountain that have earned the federal government’s approval. This is a foundational principle that binds our country together. There are no legal tools available to provinces to stand in the way of infrastructure projects that benefit all Canadians.

“The Government of Alberta is steadfastly committed to seeing the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline to completion. We will use the means at our disposal to ensure that the project is built, that it meets the highest possible environmental standards, and that it contributes to economic growth and jobs in Alberta, British Columbia and Canada.”

© 2017 The Canadian Press, with files from JWN.