Premier-Designate Jason Kenney addresses the media the day his after his election victory in Edmonton on Wednesday April 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

Jason Kenney, Alberta’s incoming premier, said he cordially talked pipelines Wednesday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — Kenney’s political nemesis and his election campaign pinata — and said the plan is to meet soon for a one-on-one.

“He called to offer his congratulations. We spoke for about 15 minutes,” Kenney said outside Alberta’s legislature building.

“We had a respectful conversation about a number of issues, including the need to get Canadian energy to foreign markets.”

READ MORE: Orange peeled: Jason Kenney’s UCP defeats NDP with majority in Alberta

Kenney said he and Trudeau will try to meet shortly after Kenney and his new United Conservative government are sworn in on April 30.

It was a much anticipated conversation, given that Kenney successfully leveraged voter dissatisfaction with Trudeau in Alberta’s election, painting NDP Premier Rachel Notley as a weak enabler of federal energy policies he says are undermining its oil and gas sector.

On Tuesday, Kenney’s United Conservatives won a strong majority government over Notley’s NDP, reducing core NDP support to mainly the city of Edmonton.

Kenney and Notley have attacked the federal Liberals on proposed legislation, including a tanker ban on the northern B.C. coast and Bill C-69.

Bill C-69, now before the Senate, creates new approval rules for energy projects, which Kenney calls an unconstitutional power grab on areas of provincial authority.

The Kenney-Trudeau nexus is expected to play a pivotal role as the UCP work to implement its core campaign promise to create more jobs and grow the oil and gas sector.

Kenney has promised to fight Bill C-69 in court. He will also go to court to try to stop the federal government from imposing a carbon tax on Alberta once his UCP follows through next month on its promise to repeal the Alberta-made carbon levy.

Kenney, a former federal cabinet minister under Stephen Harper, has said the mere existence of Trudeau in power threatens Alberta’s economic prospects and has said he will do whatever he can to see Trudeau defeated in the fall election.

The fight is also personal. Almost a year ago, Kenney, in a newspaper interview, dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight.

“I know Justin. He doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. This guy is an empty trust-fund millionaire who has the political depth of a finger bowl,” Kenney said at the time.

Kenney said Wednesday that the plan, for now, is to be positive.

“We will begin with the path of diplomacy and try to find common ground,” he said.

“We hope that we don’t need to use more forceful measures to assert Alberta’s vital economic interests.”

READ MORE: Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

READ MORE: B.C. braces for another round of pipeline battle with Alberta’s Jason Kenney

Kenney also won the election on a promise to be more forceful with other provinces, saying that Albertans feel its neighbours are happy to share in the bounty of Alberta’s oil wealth while opposing measures like pipelines to help it grow.

In Quebec, Premier Francois Legault congratulated Kenney on his electoral victory Wednesday but said all parties in Quebec’s legislature still oppose any new oil pipelines.

Kenney said he also wants to start on a positive note with Legault, but added: “We don’t think it’s reasonable for other provinces, like Quebec, to take our equalization money while opposing pipeline projects that can help us pay the bills.”

Kenney has said that the first day of his government will see him proclaim into law a bill passed by Notley’s legislature allowing Alberta to reduce oil flows to B.C. if B.C. continues to thwart the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline to take more Alberta oil to the West Coast.

He said he plans to recall the legislature in the third week of May.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Woman collapses at Eagle Creek Fair Grounds

A woman was taken to the Lakes District Hospital after she collapsed… Continue reading

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Power restored to 120,000 customers after northern B.C. transmission failure

Lightning is suspected to be the cause of the outage, says BC Hydro

Rattée visits Burns Lake

Claire Rattée, Conservative Party of Canada candidate for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, accompanied by… Continue reading

Construction of water treatment plant begins

Ground work started on Sept. 4 as part of the construction of… Continue reading

‘This is where the movement is going to start’: Jessica Patrick remembered at memorial march

The march commemorates the one-year anniversary of the 18-year-old’s unsolved death

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Most Read