05/08/2015 01:52 EDT | Updated 05/08/2016 05:59 EDT

TransMountain pipeline: Derek Corrigan soft on Rachel Notley, despite interest in pipeline

In the lead-up to Alberta NDP Premier-Elect Rachel Notley said she saw merit in the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline — but one of the project's vocal opponents is holding off on  any criticism of Notley's views.

"I'm thrilled to see change in Alberta and I congratulate heartily Rachel Notley for taking on the incredible challenge for taking on that long term conservative government, so I'm certainly not going to be jumping all over her in the next few weeks as she begins to settle in to her new job," Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan — whose wife Kathy Corrigan is a B.C. NDP MLA — told The Early Edition's Rick Cuff.

Corrigan said he spoke to Notley to congratulate her on her win, and believes she will make "sensible" decisions in the best interest not only for Alberta — but for the rest of the country.

"I go into this with an open mind and I certainly look to work co-operatively with Rachel Notley until its shown differently that Alberta's position is something that we can't support or something that we think is working against our interests," he said.

Even if Notley does come out as a supporter of the TransMountain expansion, Corrigan said all isn't lost for those trying to stop it.

"I don't think that Alberta's position was going to be the only issue the [National Energy Board] was going to be considering. In fact I don't really think they pay much attention to provincial positions in regards to these issues. They generally seem to follow the direction they've been given by the federal government," he said.

Corrigan said he supports many other aspects of Notley's campaign, including a push to refine oil in Canada rather than shipping crude bitumen.

Other opponents of the TransMountain pipeline are also watching Rachel Notley closely.

"We need to send Notley a signal she'll understand: Kinder Morgan is not going to come waltzing through B.C. just because she says so," read an e-mail from Victoria-based non-profit organization Dogwood Initiative sent on Wednesday.

To hear the full interview with Derek Corrigan, listen to the audio labelled: Derek Corrigan on Rachel Notley's win.