Jason Kenney, a vocal supporter of the Trans Mountain expansion, has been elected as the Premier of Alberta, Canada.
Mr Kenney won by a considerable margin, with a recent count the showing his United Conservative Party (UCP) led or had been elected in 63 of the province’s 87 constituencies.
Throughout his campaign, Mr Kenney vowed to complete the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would expand the capacity of the crude and refined oil pipeline from 300,00 bbls a day to 890,000 bbls.
The pipeline has carried oil from Alberta to British Columbia since 1953, but the expansion project has been in regulatory limbo since a court overthrew its approval in August last year on the grounds that environmental impacts had not been properly assessed and constitutional duties had not been sufficiently performed.
Since then, construction of the project has been unable to proceed; however, Mr Kenney has said his first act as premier will be to enact a bill which would restrict Alberta’s oil and gas shipments to BC, the majority of which are done through the pipeline, if the province continued to oppose the expansion.
Supporters of the project have cited a lack of path to market for significant amounts of Alberta oil, leading to billions in lost revenue.
In his victory speech Mr Kenney said he was committed to building more pipelines to benefit the entire province.
“We will create the Aboriginal Opportunities Corporation to help First Nations become co-owners of pipelines and other major projects,” he said.
“We need pipelines for the prosperity of all Canadians, including Quebecers.”
Previous premier Rachel Notley had been in office since 2015.
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