Third of Alberta cabinet heading to Ottawa to fight for pipelines, jobs and Albertans

EDMONTON – In an unprecedented move, the province is taking a third of its cabinet to Ottawa next week.

Premier Jason Kenney, in a press conference this morning, said the message he will be carrying on behalf of Albertans to Ottawa next week is that the province needs to see action.

“If Ottawa and the rest of the country wants to continue to benefit from Alberta as the goose that has laid the golden egg in modern Canadian economic history then Ottawa needs to unleash us to be able to develop our resources get our products to market, get a fair price and not tie us down with a number of new laws and regulations that inhibit our responsible resource sector,” said Premier Kenney.

"If Ottawa and the rest of the country wants to continue to benefit from Alberta as the goose that has laid the golden egg in modern Canadian economic history then Ottawa needs to unleash us to be able to develop our resources."… Click To Tweet

“We are not seeking a special deal. We are seeking a fair deal.

“Albertans have contributed over $600 billion in net transfers to the rest of Canada since 1960, including $200 billion in the last decade – even as our province has suffered its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.”

READ MORE: Alberta’s finance minister meets with federal finance minister, asks for immediate $1.7B equalization rebate

The Alberta delegation will advocate for a fair deal and vigorously defend Alberta’s interests. In addition to meeting Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Kenney will address the Canadian Club of Ottawa, hold a roundtable with Alberta senators and meet with other business and political leaders. Some ministers will also meet with leaders of national industry groups.

The Dec. 9-10 mission will discuss a wide range of issues where federal policy is hampering Alberta’s ability to fully grow its economy.

There is urgency to complete the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, and new federal legislation will all but ensure no new pipelines are built in the future.

“These federal policies discriminate against Alberta,” said Premier Kenney.

” They are an unconstitutional attack on our province and signal to investors that Canada, and particularly Alberta, is not serious about developing its natural resources.”

The mission follows Council of the Federation meetings in Toronto earlier this week where Canada’s Premiers unanimously backed key aspects of Alberta’s fair deal plan including retroactive reform of the Fiscal Stabilization Program and changes to the new federal Environmental Impact Act (Bill C-69).

On Dec. 9 Premier Kenney will give a speech at the Canadian Club of Ottawa, which is already sold out. He will also meet with Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal New Democratic Party.

On Dec. 10 there will be a meeting with Andrew Scheer, leader of the Official Opposition, a meeting with Alberta’s members of Parliament, a roundtable meeting with Alberta’s federal senators and a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

  • Ministers joining Premier Kenney on the mission:
    • Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance
    • Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks
    • Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy
    • Jason Copping, Minister of Labour and Immigration
    • Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
    • Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
    • Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations
    • Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services
  • The Premier and ministers will be joined by deputy ministers and other senior officials.

Last month Premier Kenney announced the launch of the Fair Deal Panel to consult Albertans on how best to define and to secure a fair deal for Alberta. The panel will also look at how best to advance the province’s vital economic interests, such as the construction of energy pipelines.

READ MORE: Alberta contributes $240B to Canada in transfer payments last 11 years, takes nothing

Kenney promised to fight Ottawa saying, “They need to understand they’re killing the golden goose. They have both fists wrapped around the throat of that goose and they’re squeezing it hard.”

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

The panel will consider whether the following measures would advance the province’s interests:

  • Establishing a provincial revenue agency to collect provincial taxes directly by ending the Canada-Alberta Tax Collection Agreement, while joining Quebec in seeking an agreement to collect federal taxes within the province.
  • Creating an Alberta Pension Plan by withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan.
  • Establishing a provincial police force by ending the Alberta Police Service Agreement with the Government of Canada.
  • Emulating Quebec’s practice of playing a larger role in international relations, in part by seeking Alberta representation in treaty negotiations that affect Alberta’s interests.
  • Emulating Quebec’s legal requirement that public bodies, including municipalities and school boards, obtain the approval of the provincial government before they can enter into agreements with the federal government.
  • Using the existing provincial power to appoint the Chief Firearms Office for Alberta.
  • Opting out of federal cost-share programs with full compensation, such as the federal government’s proposed pharmacare program.
  • Seeking an exchange of tax points for federal cash transfers under the Canada Health and Social Transfers.
  • Establishing a formalized provincial constitution.

Updated Dec. 6, 2:22 p.m.

-Gov. Alta photo

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