On May 17, one hundred business, Indigenous, community and labour leaders flew on the Federation Flight, visiting Alberta to express solidarity over the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and the need for a positive business climate in Canada. They met with their Alberta counterparts at a luncheon held in Edmonton, featuring an impassioned speech by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on the need to get Trans Mountain built, and a panel discussion featuring leaders from B.C. labour, business and Indigenous groups.
View the video below for highlights from the luncheon:
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley:
“You’re being here is truly a powerful expression of our shared commitment to Canada. And it is proof of what unites us and that it is greater than the mountains that are between us.”
“Even if your business doesn’t work directly with oil and gas, you know that the ability of our national economy to create jobs and attract investment matters. We must demonstrate that we can make decisions that respect the rule of law and that we can get things done.”
“We are one country and it is time we that we act like one.”
Laura Jones, executive vice president and chief strategic officer of Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
“We want you to know that BC businesses are behind you. We are standing up for what is right—standing up for Confidence in Canada.”
“And I think we have to remember how important it is to families and communities the dignity of having a job.”
Keith Matthew, CEO Seklep Business Services and former chief Simpcw First Nation
“A couple of the [Indigenous] communities that have disagreements with the [Trans Mountain] proposal, and that’s their right. That’s their right to oppose that. But the other First Nations groups that do support it, they want to be heard as well.”
“By far, the majority of those communities in British Columbia who are along the pipeline route and are directly impacted by it, what’s happening, are supportive of this [project].”
Ken Baerg, executive director Canada Workers Construction Union
“If you’re in transportation and you’re moving the clothes we wear or the food that we eat, or if you’re a sole proprietor running a retail store or a salesperson at a car dealership, you rely on a healthy resource sector. And maybe bringing it a little closer to home—if you’re a women in trades or you’re part of a First Nations group or a teenager who has heard the narrative that ‘Hey get prepared for a future in trades because these projects are coming, and you dedicated the time, energy and resources to prepare yourself for that, you also rely upon a healthy resource sector.”
Iain Black, president and CEO of Vancouver Board of Trade
“That was one of the reasons we felt compelled to be doing what we’re doing. To start breaking down and to be honest playing catch up a little bit on the narrative that’s been allowed to develop that there is a divide represented by the Rocky Mountains. And that’s just not true.“