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Significant victory for Notley if pipeline goes forward: poli-sci professor

Premier Rachel Notley answers questions from the press after her State of the Province address in Calgary. Wednesday, October 19th, 2016. (Crystal Laderas - 660 NEWS)

The political feud between Alberta and British Columbia over the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion could spell “advantage” for Rachel Notley.

“I think she’s been quite strategic,” Mount Royal University Political Science Professor Lori Williams explained. “Some people, I’m sure, have wondered along the way whether she was taking the best tact, but it looks like what she’s done, up until this point, has made a difference.”

Williams admitted the Alberta Premier’s strategy has been authoritative and effective thus far, and should the Kinder Morgan project move into production, triumph could lead to future political success.

“Of course, that’s not all due to Rachel Notley’s moves on this,” Williams qualified. “But she’s been an important part of that and, I think, can claim a significant victory in the progress that’s been made on that count. Justin Trudeau, of course, has something to claim there, as well.”

United Conservative Party (UCP) leader Jason Kenney previously noted Notley was giving away Alberta’s bargaining leverage, and even quipped, he’d love to play a game of poker with her some time.

“With things in limbo, as they are right now, there’s not a lot that he can do to get a lot of attention,” Williams said of the UCP leader.

“The person making the decisions, the one who’s engaging in negotiations, the one who’s trying to move this forward, the one who’s in power is Rachel Notley,” she confirmed. “The other thing is that Jason Kenney, for the most part, agrees with most of the moves that have been made by Rachel Notley, up until this point,” the political science professor said, when asked if the expansion project could become an election issue.

“A lot’s going to be going on between now and the next election,” she added. “There’ll be lots for Jason Kenney to say about this and other issues.”

Albertans next vote for a provincial leader on or before May 31, 2019.