Alberta Premier Rachel Notley appears to have been the biggest political beneficiary of the massive fight that led to the Trudeau government’s C$4.5-billion buyout of the troubled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, according to opinion research commissioned by the CBC.
“A new poll conducted for CBC News suggests 42% of Albertans think Notley is the politician most responsible for pushing the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion ahead,” the national broadcaster reports. “While a majority of Albertans support the federal government’s purchase of Trans Mountain, an equal number remain skeptical about the expansion happening on time.”
The random survey by Calgary-based pollster Janet Brown found that 27% of Albertans saw Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the most influential politician in sealing the deal, while 13% chose Alberta opposition leader Jason Kenney.
“Yes, Rachel Notley gets sort of top marks for being responsible,” Brown told CBC. “but people realize that it wouldn’t have happened without Justin Trudeau, and there’s a large contingent of Albertans that think it probably wouldn’t have happened without Jason Kenney pushing for it, as well.”
“Albertans are also owed a great deal of credit for getting this project as far along as it is,” Notley wrote in an email statement to CBC.
Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt called the pipeline deal “a necessary condition” for Notley’s government to have a chance at winning next year’s provincial election. But he cautioned that “voters are complex and evaluate politicians and parties on more than just one issue at a time,” CBC reports.