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Environment bill changes needed to ‘avoid alienating provinces’: Morneau

Click to play video 'Conservative premiers warn Trudeau of national unity crisis' Conservative premiers warn Trudeau of national unity crisis
WATCH: Conservative premiers warn Trudeau of national unity crisis – Jun 11, 2019

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals say it’s conservative premiers who are putting Canada at risk in a fight over oil and the environment.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says in a letter to six right-leaning premiers Friday it’s “unhelpful to threaten national unity” if their demands to change two bills on the verge of being passed in Parliament aren’t met.

READ MORE: Provincial energy ministers condemn feds after majority of Bill C-69 amendments rejected

Click to play video 'Energy ministers condemn feds after majority of Bill C-69 amendments rejected' Energy ministers condemn feds after majority of Bill C-69 amendments rejected
Energy ministers condemn feds after majority of Bill C-69 amendments rejected – Jun 12, 2019

The premiers of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories wrote to the prime minister Monday urging him to amend or abandon bills restricting tanker traffic on part of B.C.’s coast and overhauling the federal environmental-assessment system for major construction projects.

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The premiers said changes to the bills are needed to “avoid further alienating provinces” and “focus on uniting the country.”

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

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the premiers of playing games with national unity to pursue their policy goals.

The written response from Morneau says the changes the premiers want would compromise Canadians’ health and jobs, infringe Indigenous people’s rights and harm endangered species.