Premier Kenney tells Deputy PM Freeland Albertans are feeling ‘deep frustration’

Premier Jason Kenney met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Chrystia Freeland at the Alberta legislature in Edmonton Nov. 25.

“I explained the deep frustration Albertans are feeling over federal policies that are failing our province and the urgent need for action to support the Alberta economy because a strong Alberta makes for a strong Canada. 

I explained the deep frustration Albertans are feeling over federal policies that are failing our province and the urgent need for action to support the Alberta economy…”

Premier Jason Kenney

“I explained to her that every day the CN rail strike continues hurts Albertans and kills jobs and profits of businesses across Canada, and I repeated our government’s call for her government to recall Parliament and legislate an end to the strike,” said Premier Kenney.

READ MORE: Alberta creating panel to study actions to give province more independence

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney meets with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Chrystia Freeland Nov. 25.

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage continues to call on the prime minister to end the CN strike. Inter Pipeline, north of Edmonton, said a continued work stoppage will result in further production slowdowns and the potential shut down of the Redwater facility until CN resumes operations.

Premier Kenney said he reminded Deputy Prime Minister Freeland of the urgent priorities for Alberta and the federal government that he set out two weeks ago, and told her that the province hasn’t yet heard back from them on any of these requests. 

WATCH: Most pressing issue after federal election is status of Alberta: Rex Murphy interviews Premier Kenney

Those priorities are:

  • A firm guarantee on completion of the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline by a fixed date, including a clear commitment to ensuring that the rule of law will be respected and applied.
  • A $1.72-billion equalization rebate payment to Alberta. This would address the problem that federal support for the Alberta economy is arbitrarily capped, even as our economy is hurting, while transfer payments out of Alberta to continue without a cap. This can be solved by an immediate retroactive payment of $1.72 billion to cover what we should have received if the Fiscal Stabilization Program (FSP) were not capped for 2015-16 and 2016-17, plus the outstanding $251 million we are owed under the FSP for the year 2016-17.
  • Funding to put Albertans back to work in green jobs by accelerating reclamation of abandoned wells.
  • Approval of flow-through shares, or similar tax instruments, to stimulate investment in environmental technology such as carbon capture utilization and storage that will accelerate the reduction of GHG emissions from Canada’s oil and gas sector, and well reclamation, to put Albertans to work.
  • Clear support for future liquified natural gas projects that will significantly reduce global GHG emissions by accelerating coal-to-gas conversion in the developing world.
  • Repeal of Bill C-48, and repeal or significant mitigation of the negative effects of Bill C-69 to restore investor confidence.
  • Establishing equivalency agreements for Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) program, and methane regulations.
  • Accelerating federal approval of outstanding job-creating projects, like the Teck Resources Frontier mine and TransAlta natural gas pipelines to convert coal-fired plants to natural gas.

READ MORE: Alberta contributes $240B to Canada in transfer payments, takes nothing in payments

“On election night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he had heard our frustration and wants to be there to support us,” said Premier Kenney. “I appreciate Minister Freeland’s willingness to listen and work with us, but the measure of the Prime Minister’s sincerity will be swift action on these urgent issues.”

Prime Minister Trudeau has tasked Freeland with easing tensions between the federal government and Alberta. Alberta didn’t elect any Liberals during the October federal election. The Liberal win has fuelled talks of western separation.

Premier Kenney told Freeland there are “real tensions in the federation” and deep challenges in Alberta’s economy.

“Albertans are looking for a fair deal and I certainly hope that we could get down to some positive conversations about how we could do that,” said Kenney.

“Certainly our government heard from Alberta a strong message in the election and that means we have to listen really hard. That’s what I’m here today to do,” Freeland told reporters.

READ MORE: Bernier tells Albertans to find allies in Quebec and elsewhere to bring about change at federal level

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