VICTORIA - B.C. Premier Christy Clark has invited her Alberta counterpart for a sit-down when Clark is in Calgary early next week.
But the invitation to Alison Redford, contained in a letter released publicly Wednesday, isn't exactly a thaw in the relationship that grew frosty over B.C.'s five demands that must be met before the province will support Enbridge's bid to build the Northern Gateway pipeline.
"As you may know, there are a significant number of permits required for any pipeline project to proceed in British Columbia," Clark wrote.
Over the summer, Clark announced her province would be looking for a greater share of revenue from the project to off-set what she said was a disproportionate risk to British Columbia's environment if Northern Gateway goes ahead.
The letter makes reference to that argument and goes on to note that she gave Redford and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall a heads up before she released B.C.'s position earlier this summer.
"My government has been clear: There are significant environmental risks associated with the Northern Gateway Project proposal and, while there are significant economic benefits to Canada and Alberta, there are few benefits to British Columbia."
A statement from Redford's office said the Alberta premier is considering the invitation.
"If during Premier Clark’s time in Calgary next week we can coordinate our schedules, we’d be open to meeting," the statement said.
"However, Alberta’s position on the Gateway project hasn’t changed. This is a commercial project. It’s not Alberta’s pipeline and Alberta’s resource revenues are not up for discussion."
Clark noted B.C. supports natural resource extraction and the pipeline industry and offered as evidence B.C.'s support for several liquefied natural gas projects.
"I look forward to continuing a dialogue with you about opportunities to address British Columbia's five conditions. I recognize that there are significant benefits available to Alberta from the export of heavy oil to Asia and that this is something your government no doubt wishes to pursue."
Redford said in August she has nothing to talk to Clark about regarding sharing Alberta's revenues from the project, and maintains what Clark is proposing would amount to a re-writing of the Canadian Constitution.
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