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Premier Kenney on the offense following trips abroad

Last Updated Feb 12, 2020 at 6:36 am MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — In a press conference billed as an update on his recent trade missions to Quebec and Washington, D.C., Alberta Premier Jason Kenney lashed out at the NDP, the federal government, and protestors opposing natural resource projects in Canada.

Speaking at the McDougall Centre in Calgary, Kenney started off by announcing that the government had sold off contracts set up by the previous NDP government to increase crude by rail shipments.

Rachel Notley announced plans last February to move up to 120,000 barrels of oil a day under deals with Canada’s two major railways, Canadian Pacific and Canadian National.

Kenney, whose United Conservatives won the election a few months later, promised to get rid of the contracts and leave it to the private sector to move Alberta’s oil to market.

He says the NDP’s rail deals would have cost the government $10.6 billion and brought in revenues of $8.8 billion for a loss of $1.8 billion.

RELATED: Alberta unloads crude-by-rail contracts signed under former NDP government

He says the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Corp. has negotiated sales that will mean a loss of $1.3 billion.

Kenney says details of who is buying the contracts and on what terms are not being released yet because of commercial confidentiality.

He says the NDP is responsible for the hit to provincial coffers.

“They never should have made this deal. The private sector was willing to move this crude by rail and has done so,” Kenney said.

“(Former premier) Rachel Notley is entirely responsible for the deal, for its net cost, for the loss. We, however, have managed to limit the damage, reduce the damage by $500 million.”

Moving up one level of government, Kenney then discussed the Teck Frontier Mine project as a decision on the proposal is expected from the federal government some time this month.

Kenney said the project is meeting strict environmental standards and cited data he mentioned in a letter he sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday.

However, some of that evidence has been disputed by others.