Quebec not impressed with Alberta Premier-designate Jason Kenney’s pipeline plea
“It’s important to remember that half of the petrol we get in Quebec is coming from the west via the Enbridge pipeline,” Legault said.
“Regarding other oil pipelines, I want to remind him there is no social acceptability for it.”
Legault acknowledged Kenney’s decision to address Quebecers in French during his victory speech, calling it “an elegant gesture.”
“We need pipelines for the prosperity of all Canadians, including Quebecers,” Kenney declared.
“Let me say this to all Quebecers and to Premier Legault: at a time when Alberta is hurting, we must work together,” he stated.
“If Quebec and other provinces want to accept massive transfer payments from Alberta, please help us develop our natural resources and our economy.”
WATCH BELOW: Quebec doesn’t want pipeline, says Premier François Legault
Politicians at the National Assembly made it clear that they are not interested in what they perceived as thinly veiled threats about Alberta’s contributions to the equalization payments — where the federal government distributes payments to less wealthy “have not” provinces in order to equalize the provinces’ “fiscal capacity.”
WATCH: Alberta’s new premier-elect, Jason Kenney, calls on Quebec — and its premier, François Legault — to help his province develop its natural resources.
“What is not acceptable is when…he says, ‘you better do this, or else we’ll do something about [equalization] transfers,'” said Carlos Leitao, former finance minister and current official opposition critic for finance.
“That…is not acceptable.”
He points out that Kenney, as a former federal politician, should know how the equalization transfer program works.
WATCH BELOW: Alberta premier-designate should know better than to threaten Quebec: Leitao
“He knows it is not a transfer from province to province. He knows it is a transfer of federal funds, so I think he should be a little more rigorous in the way he approaches that question,” he argued.
Catherine Dorion, an MNA with Québec Solidaire, says she understands why the pipeline is so important to the premier-designate.
“That’s not our interest in Quebec. That’s not our desire either. We’ve had this debate in Quebec. We’ve had this collective debate. We don’t want this pipeline. We don’t want it,” she argued.
“We want an independent Quebec… What we want is freedom, jobs. It’s not a cheque from the Canadian government. It’s having more power on our own territory to make our own decisions.”
Kenney and his United Conservative Party won a majority government in Tuesday’s election. The party ran on a strong mandate to scrap the carbon tax and usher in a new era of fiscal conservatism.
WATCH BELOW: If Quebec was independent, we wouldn’t need equalization payments: Québec Solidaire
He called on the provinces to help Alberta develop and get its resources to international markets.
“The question is simple: do Quebecers want to fuel their economy with ethically-used Canadian energy or the oil imported from the United States and the OPEC dictatorships? To ask the question is to answer it.”
Kenney, 50, was first elected to the Alberta legislature when he won a byelection in Calgary-Lougheed last December. He retained his seat on Tuesday night.
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