Rachel Notley’s Trans Mountain pipeline tour may do more harm than good and the Alberta premier should spend more time lobbying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to move the critical project forward, former Albert Energy Minister Ted Morton told BNN.

“I don’t think her tour will have much effect,” Ted Morton, who served as the province’s energy minister from 2011-12, said in an interview Tuesday. “It will attract more opponents than supporters.”

Notley will begin her tour in Toronto on Nov. 20 and plans to visit other Canadian cities such as Vancouver, Edmonton and Ottawa.

But Morton sees this as more of a political move rather than a way to gain support for the pipeline.

“I really think she’s doing this more for domestic, inside Alberta, political purposes than she is with any realistic hopes of changing any opinion outside of Alberta,” he said.

Morton said Notley should instead be focusing her energy on meeting with the prime minister.

“That’s the person who holds the trump cards on all of this.”  

Notley has a lot on the line and will be “finished politically,” if the Trans Mountain project does not go forward, said Morton.

“She basically mortgaged her future by going big and going early on climate change to help Trudeau,” he said. “But now she needs Trudeau to deliver the goods for her.”

“And the industry need this too, Morton added. “If Trans Mountain is not under construction in the next 12 months, you’re going to see even a greater flight of capital out of the Western Canadian energy sector than you’ve seen already.”  

The $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline project twins the existing 1,150-kilometre pipeline between Edmonton, Alta. and Burnaby, B.C. and increase capacity by 590,000 barrels per day. Ottawa approved the project nearly a year ago but it is opposed by B.C.’s NDP government.