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EDMONTON, A.B. – Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley says she expects Ottawa to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline to the west coast by the end of May.

Notley says the province is closer than ever to getting the pipeline.

She says Alberta needs to stick with a strategy to get shovels in the ground.

Notley says a growing majority of Canadians, including British Columbia residents, now support the project because they understand it would support jobs and a strong economy.

She says that if her party were to be re-elected on April 16, she would continue to stand up for Alberta’s energy industry.

During a leaders debate last Thursday, United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney suggested that Notley has foolishly tied Alberta’s fortunes to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government by introducing a carbon tax.

In return, Kenny said, Trudeau has hindered Alberta’s bedrock industry with a ban on tankers off the northern B.C. coast and proposed legislation that Kenney says could hinder approvals for future energy projects.

Kenney said Trudeau has also bungled the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to get more Alberta oil to the B.C. coast. The project has been delayed by court challenges and rulings.

The federal government stepped in last year to buy the project to help ensure it gets built.

Notley says she is to appear Tuesday via video link before the Senate transportation committee to discuss the oil tanker moratorium bill.

“Bill C-48 attacks the Alberta economy and needs to go,” she said Monday. “I will be making that case forcefully.”

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