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Clark and Redford to join forces at Kelowna conference

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June 13, 2013 - 10:33 AM

Premier Christy Clark and Alberta Premier Alison Redford will meet at Kelowna's Delta Grand Hotel tomorrow for their first public appearance together since the Liberal victory in the recent provincial election.

The two have had a rocky relationship over disagreements about how to get Canadian resources to the international market, particularly regarding the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline that would carry crude oil from the Albertan tar sands through B.C., to be shipped by supertankers off the West Coast. Clark demanded B.C. get a larger share of profits from the pipeline for taking on the controversial environmental risks of the $5.5 billion project.

B.C. Premier's Office director of communications Ben Chin says tomorrow's meeting will be an opportunity for the two leaders to join forces.

"It's always fun to make the most of division, but the fact of the matter is they have a great deal of respect for each other," Chin says.

The premiers will discuss how to work collectively on things that unite the interests of British Columbians and Albertans.

"They understand we have a lot in common," and that includes building a stronger economy by getting Western Canada's goods to market overseas, jobs and skills training as well as working with the federal government.

"Does that mean we're always going to agree – absolutely not. That's all the more reason to keep talking," Chin says.

Both Clark and Redford will be available at 10 a.m. tomorrow for a media event and then will take the podium at 11 a.m. for a joint news conference.

They will also be attending the Western Premier's Conference this Sunday and Monday. The conference brings together the seven premiers in western Canada.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at jwhittet@infotelnews.ca or call (250)718-0428.

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