With just three days to go before Alberta goes to the polls, United Conservative Leader (UCP) Jason Kenney is ramping up his threats towards B.C.
At a campaign rally in Edmonton Friday night, Kenney renewed his pledge to “turn off the taps” of gasoline “within an hour” of being sworn in as premier — and singled out a promise made by Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.
WATCH: (Aired April 9) Alberta UCP leader Jason Kenney threatens to cut off B.C.’s gas supply
“The NDP mayor of Vancouver said he wants a carbon-free Vancouver by 2040,” Kenney told the crowd, referring to Stewart’s previous role as a NDP MP for Burnaby South.
“Well, if the B.C. New Democrats continue to block our energy, we’ll happily give them a carbon-free Vancouver by 2020.”
Stewart has supported measures including the previous council’s Greenest City 2020 and Zero Waste 2040 plans, as well as the B.C. government’s recent legislation aiming to make all cars in the province zero-emission by 2040.
Kenney has been critical of B.C.’s court challenges against the Trans Mountain pipeline extension, which Premier John Horgan and several B.C. mayors including Stewart have vowed to stop.
The Alberta NDP passed Bill 12 last spring, which directs truckers, pipeline companies and rail operators on how much product could be shipped and when. However, the bill was not proclaimed into force or ever used.
Kenney has slammed the NDP for not using the legislation, calling it on Friday “pro-wrestling phoniness.”
The mayor’s office declined to respond to Kenney’s latest comments. But Coun. Pete Fry said the party leader is just playing political games.
“It does sound like pretty reckless rhetoric, ‘turning off the taps,'” Fry said. “We have the largest port in Canada. We’re the Pacific gateway. We’re not about to play tit for tat with that.”
If built, the Trans Mountain pipeline extension would triple the capacity for oil from Alberta to the Lower Mainland.
The federal government has yet to give the project the green light again, despite the latest report from the National Energy Board recommending they do so.
WATCH: Impact of Alberta election on the rest of Canada
Kenney is laying the blame for the work stoppage at the feet of both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Horgan, whom he continued to batter Friday night by saying he’s “obstructing our energy and violating the terms of the constitution by doing so.”
With the latest polls suggesting Kenney’s UCP party has support from nearly 50 per cent of voters, there are fears a win by Kenney on Tuesday will lead to gas prices soaring even higher than the record-setting costs already seen this week.
Horgan has said he would simply look south of the border or to Asia to offset any loss of energy imports from Alberta, while Attorney General David Eby says he’s ready to take Edmonton to court if Bill 12 is enforced.
Vancouver Coun. Michael Wiebe said city council needed to wait and see before reacting to Kenney’s threats.
“I think we want to hear from the people on how to react to this,” he said. “The most important thing is to find solutions in a non-partisan way, which is what we’re always trying to do at council.”
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