Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is accusing Quebec Premier François Legault of trying to broker a deal for votes in his province during the upcoming federal election.
Pallister held a media conference on Tuesday specifically to call out Quebec and its list of demands ahead of the Oct. 21 federal election.
“That the prime minister would even consider these demands represents a complete lack of respect,” Pallister said.
He went on to claim the Quebec government wasn’t thinking about the rest of the country by rejecting the Energy East pipeline and lowering immigration levels, which Pallister said could lead to labour shortages elsewhere.
“Why would you reward that kind of behaviour?” Pallister asked.
Last week, during a federal Liberal cabinet retreat in Sherbrooke, Legault met privately with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
He had a long list of demands for the federal government, including $300 million to compensate for asylum seekers who came through Quebec. Legault also wants compensation for dairy farmers and autonomy for the selection of immigrants.
Trudeau addressed many of these issues at a recent townhall-style meeting, and on Monday, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer promised to give Quebec more control over immigration if elected prime minister.
“Come October, when I sit down with Mr. Legault, we’ll have action, not just words or meetings for the sake of meetings,” Scheer said during a press conference in Montreal.
The Manitoba premier says this kind of political jockeying for votes has him seeing red, adding that political leaders risk making themselves more popular in Quebec at the expense of the rest of the country.
“For Quebec to be appeased by a political party of whatever stripe would be fundamentally wrong and would work against the best interest of our country as a whole,” he said.