EDMONTON – A top adviser to U.S. president-elect Donald Trump is visiting Alberta in January.
Kellyanne Conway will speak at a private fundraising dinner hosted by the Alberta Prosperity Fund on Jan. 12 in Calgary, and also tour the oilsands.
Barry McNamar, president of the Prosperity Fund, a conservative political action committee, confirmed the visit Tuesday.
McNamar says they had a member assisting with the Trump campaign team and the idea of Conway visiting came together recently.
“We got an offer from Ms. Conway that she would very much like to visit Alberta, learn more about the oilsands and Alberta’s agricultural and other export industries,” said McNamar.
“There was some mutual discussion that took place and the conclusion was wouldn’t it be great if we could do this before (Trump’s) inauguration (on Jan. 20).
McNamar declined to specify the date of Conway’s oilsands visit, citing security concerns.
The Jan. 12 dinner, he said, will be invite-only of about 300 provincial and national business leaders at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel.
He said the plan is to keep the group relatively small to allow for a good back-and-forth discussion.
“We want Ms. Conway to know that when she goes back to the United States that her administration has the support of Alberta’s key industries, that we’re very keen to work with the new administration, and to strengthen the Canada-U.S. relationship, particularly on trade issues,” he said.
McNamar said Canada’s premiers will also be invited.
He declined to say the cost per ticket.
Trump’s victory in this month’s U.S. presidential election has revived hopes that the Keystone pipeline could be approved.
The line would take Alberta crude to ports and refineries on the Gulf Coast in Texas.
Premier Rachel Notley has said getting a pipeline to ports will fetch a better international price for Alberta’s oil and help lift it out of the prolonged price slump that has seen thousands of Alberta jobs disappear and the provincial budget go billions of dollars into the red.
Trump, during the campaign, also harshly criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement, labelling it a “disaster” and promising to push for changes to save jobs south of the border.