September 23, 2015 6:43 pm
Updated: September 23, 2015 9:18 pm

Former Alberta premier Redford speaks about federal election, Keystone

WATCH ABOVE: “I’m not partisan at all any more," said former Alberta premier Alison Redford after speaking at an environment and energy event in Ottawa. Tom Vernon has the highlights.


OTTAWA – Former Alberta premier Alison Redford has sounded a ringing endorsement for change in the current federal election – although she’s quick to say that’s not necessarily a call for the defeat of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

“I’m not partisan at all any more,” she said. “I think that change is important.

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“You have to be open to new ideas. We’ve certainly seen some of that from the federal government in the last couple of years. We’ve seen a lot of change from the other party leaders as well.”

“It brings new ideas and that’s what democracy is all about.”

Following a speech on energy and environmental issues in Ottawa, Redford said the momentum for change in the current campaign is important and that people have a positive attitude toward new ideas.  However she denied she’s rooting against Harper’s re-election, saying you don’t necessarily have to change the party in government to get a change in policies.

WATCH: Former Alberta Premier Allison Redford isn’t surprised that Hillary Clinton opposes the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Redford reacted to Hillary Clinton’s recent statement that she opposes Keystone XL.

READ MORE: Clinton opposes construction of Keystone XL pipeline 

The former premier said she wasn’t terribly surprised by Clinton’s comments.

“I think that the most important issue – and she talked about it – is Keystone is a distraction from a wider conversation that has to take place around climate change and the environment. The unfortunate part, as usual, is that we don’t see Canada getting enough credit that we’ve already taken very concrete steps.”

WATCH: Former Alberta Premier Allison Redford has some advice for new Premier Rachel Notley.

Redford was also asked about current Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who she described as “very smart.” Redford said she enjoyed working with Notley in government, when Notley served as justice critic.

“I believe that it’s so important to give premiers time to decide for themselves how to do their work,” said Redford, adding, “I hope she’s getting to spend time with her family and that she’s enjoying her days.”

She also commented on the Alberta NDP’s decision to raise corporate taxes and launch a royalty review.

“It was certainly, as I understand it, commitments she made during the election and that’s what people supported. I think it’s inevitable that people want to talk about royalties. I don’t know what the outcome of that will be.

“I think it’s probably an important thing for us to be talking about, at a time when people can see the economic impact of the energy economy slowing down, because it takes some of the hypothetical out of the situation,” said Redford.

She said she has really enjoyed being part of conversations around public policy and is happy to listen and offer perspective where it may be useful.

WATCH: Former Alberta Premier Allison Redford says she is moving forward and not looking back at her time as Premier.

As for any regrets she has from her time as premier?

“Well, life is life and there’s always lots of things, but I’m not going backwards, I’m moving forward.”

Redford has been largely absent from the public scene since she was drummed out of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative dynasty in 2013 following a series of government spending scandals.

READ MORE: Alberta Premier Alison Redford resigns 

Her successor, former Harper cabinet minister Jim Prentice, went down in flames in last spring’s provincial election, which elected Rachel Notley’s NDP after four decades of unbroken Progressive Conservative rule.

Public opinion polls point to a strong desire for change in the current federal election that culminates Oct. 19, with two-thirds of respondents in most polls looking for an alternative to a fourth-straight Conservative government.

With files from Emily Mertz, Global News

© 2015 Shaw Media & The Canadian Press

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