United Conservative Party Leader of Alberta Jason Kenney puts the blame of Alberta’s economy and oil trouble squarely on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and current Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, in an interview with Global News’s Mercedes Stephenson.
“I think the huge mistake that Premier Notley made was writing Justin Trudeau a blank political cheque, creating an alliance with the Trudeau government that has done everything it can to prevent us from getting a pipeline built,” Kenney said in an interview with The West Block Sunday.
“Prime Minister Trudeau, who vetoed the Northern Gateway pipeline, killed Energy East, surrendered to Barack Obama’s veto of Northern Gateway and has completely bungled the Trans Mountain expansion.”
Kenney says that Alberta has to understand it is in a strategic fight with the federal government and it is part of his strategy to “push back” against the federal government.
When asked what can be done about Quebec saying no to Energy East, Kenney said that it is ultimately up to the federal government to decide the fate of pipelines.
WATCH: Jason Kenney commends Premier Notley’s announcement of oil production cuts
“Under the Constitution, the federal government has the exclusive jurisdiction over inter-provincial pipelines,” Kenney said. “[Trudeau] gave Quebec a veto it does not [have] under the Constitution.”
Kenney noted that Quebec said no to the pipeline the same week the province got a $1.3 billion increase in equalization payments.
While Alberta is generous, Kenney says it will not let other provinces benefit from its energy wealth and, in turn, “block its development and export,” signalling equalization payments could be used as a bargaining chip.
“Albertans don’t mind sharing some of our wealth, as long as our partners in the federation are willing to actually develop that resource or oil and gas to get a fair global price for it,” Kenney said.
Yellow vest demonstrations have been taking place in Alberta and have shown anger and frustration over Trudeau’s policies and the state of Alberta’s economy. The demonstrations have contained calls against globalism, with some counter-protesters accusing the group of racism and xenophobia.
Kenney says that in those rallies there have been a “handful” of people with “kooky ideas,” which he condemns.
WATCH: UN agreement, delayed pipelines protested at yellow vest rallies across Alberta
“But that doesn’t change the fact that Albertans right across the political spectrum are simply asking for fairness in the federation,” Kenney said.
Hundreds of truckers are planning a convoy to Ottawa next month to put pressure on the federal government to fast-track pipeline construction.
When it comes to the detention of Canadians in China, Kenney, who has dealt with consular affairs as a federal minister in the past, said Canada has to stand strong.
“Weakness invites weakness and other countries need to understand that if they effectively kidnap Canadians that there will be repercussions,” he said.
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