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Alberta government stands by energy minister's pipeline and COVID-19 comments

Last Updated May 26, 2020 at 11:31 am MST

Pipe for the Trans Mountain pipeline is unloaded in Edson, Alta. on Tuesday June 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – Alberta’s government house leader is not backing away from his fellow minister’s comment that the COVID-19 pandemic is a great time to build pipelines.

On Friday, Energy Minister Sonya Savage told an energy industry podcast that because public health rules limit protest gatherings, it’s a “great time” to be building a pipeline.

RELATED: Gathering limits make a ‘great time to be building a pipeline:’ Alberta minister

House leader and Environment Minister Jason Nixon says Savage was just stating the obvious.

He says the government will continue to stand up for the industry and the people employed by it, although he adds the province supports the right to legal protests.

Savage’s remarks have spread worldwide, appearing on the BBC in Great Britain, Fox News in the United States and on climate activist Greta Thunberg’s Twitter feed.

Nixon says the government will do everything possible to get what he calls Alberta’s clean natural resources to market.