June 12, 2019 5:17 pm
Updated: June 12, 2019 5:18 pm

Moe says the prime minister, not conservative premiers, threatening national unity

WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that Conservative premiers were "playing games" with national unity over their opposition to Bill C-69 and Bill C-48.


Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are both accusing each other of threatening national unity.

This follows a Monday letter from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and the North West Territories premiers, calling on the federal government to change or turf two bills they say will hurt the energy industry.

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“I think it’s absolutely irresponsible for conservative premiers to be threatening our national unity if they don’t get their way,” Trudeau said Tuesday.

READ MORE: In ‘urgent letter,’ 6 premiers tell Trudeau national unity would be threatened if bills C-48, C-69 become law

“It is the Prime Minister who is threatening national unity through his stunning combination of arrogance and indifference to the concerns of Canada’s energy and industrial sectors, and the thousands of hardworking people these sectors employ in communities across the nation,” Moe said in a statement.

Moe added that the prime minister and federal government are rejecting the advice from premiers who represent “59 per cent of the population,” in addition to the Senate, when it comes to bill C-69.

Bill C-69 aims to overhaul the approval process for major infrastructure projects like pipelines, including taking environmental, economic and health impacts into consideration.

Critics have called it “the no more pipelines” bill, saying changes would make it impossible to approve these projects.

READ MORE: Tory premiers ‘playing games’ with national unity in letter opposing C-69: Trudeau

The Senate put forward 187 amendments. Trudeau said his government will accept those that improve the bill, but not all of them.

Moe said the Senate amendments would have avoided more damaging aspects of C-69.

“In rejecting those amendments, Prime Minister Trudeau has turned his back on the energy and industrial sectors that employ hundreds of thousands of Canadians and generate wealth that benefits the entire nation,” Moe said.

The letter also calls on reconsideration of bill C-48, which would prohibit oil tankers on B.C.’s northern coast. This bill is currently in its third reading before the Senate.

WATCH: The potential repercussions of Bill C-69 are debated between Conservative house leader Candice Bergen and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons in Ottawa on June 12.

With files from The Canadian Press and Global News’ David Akin

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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