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June 25th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 25
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Prentice talks campaign, pipeline, Pass
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald Contributor Photo
Jim Prentice is a candidate as Alberta’s next premier.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
As the movers and shakers of Southern Alberta gathered to commemorate the Hillcrest Mine Disaster 100th Anniversary, Alberta Tory leadership hopeful Jim Prentice took the time to discuss his ongoing campaign, his time in the Pass and the federal government’s approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline.
“The approval was a step in the process,” said Prentice of the government’s decision to let Enbridge build the pipeline. “It doesn’t represent the end of the process. In particular, there is a lot of work to be done with the government of B.C. and also First Nations, especially First Nations near the coast.”
The pipeline project would send bitumen from Northern Alberta to the B.C. coast for shipment to Asian markets. It faces enormous opposition from First Nations groups along the route who are vowing to fight the project.
On May 28, Prentice told the Pass Herald that Alberta will need to get pipelines built to either Eastern Canada, the United States or the West Coast to bring the province’s energy resources to market or risk an economic slowdown.
“This whole issue of Alberta getting pipeline access to tidewater off the West Coast of Canada is critical to our future,” he said. “Most of the new demand for oil specifically, and natural gas, is in the Asia-Pacific basin. The fastest and most economic way to get our product there is from the West Coast. This is perhaps the single most critical issue we face as a province.”
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It has been reported that Prentice will enter direct negotiations with B.C.’s First Nations communities if he is elected the next premier.
Prentice said he goes back a long way in working with First Nations. He was the co-chair of Canada’s Indian Claims Commission for ten-years, the minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and worked as a negotiator in residential school settlements.
“In the context of the coastal first nations. I negotiated the creation of the world’s first undersea park,” said Prentice in reference to the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area.
Prentice said he’s been crisscrossing the province for his ongoing PC leadership campaign.
On Thursday, he participated in Hillcrest Mine Disaster 100th Anniversary commemorative ceremonies along with a few of his old colleagues from Coleman Colliers.
“I’ve actually bumped into a bunch of fellas I used to work with,” he said. “I was just talking to a fellow who was a welder back then and I was a junior grinder helping him out.”
Recent campaign events seem to be favouring Prentice over at least one of his rivals.
Ric McIver, another PC candidate, was criticized for participating in the March for Jesus last week.
The Street Church, which organized the March, condemns gay people as the minions of Satan on its website. McIver has since apologized for attending the event.
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June 25th ~ Vol. 84 No. 25
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