Trudeau describes willingness to work with Saskatchewan in Moe meeting account

Click to play video: 'Trudeau meets with Scheer, Saskatchewan’s Moe' Trudeau meets with Scheer, Saskatchewan’s Moe
ABOVE: Trudeau meets with Scheer, Saskatchewan's Moe (Nov. 12) – Nov 12, 2019

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is offering their own account of what Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe described as a “disappointing” meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The two leaders met Tuesday morning, to discuss Saskatchewan issues like the carbon tax, accessing export markets and western alienation following the Oct. 21 federal election.

Speaking with reporters in Ottawa after the meeting, Moe said he heard “more of the same” from Trudeau and no commitment to pausing or cancelling the carbon tax, renegotiating equalization, and ensuring more pipelines are built.

An account of the meeting released by the PMO on Tuesday said Trudeau thanked Moe for having Saskatchewan act as an intervener on the federal government’s side in the upcoming Trans Mountain Expansion case at the B.C. Court of Appeal.

READ MORE: Sask. premier exploring further provincial autonomy after ‘disappointing’ Trudeau meeting

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Trudeau also reinforced the federal government’s commitment to four other energy projects, including Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement. That pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alta. to Superior, Wis., — past Regina. The $5.3 billion Canadian portion is expected to come online next month, according to Enbridge.

Trudeau reportedly opened the door for Moe to offer improvements to Bill C-69, the Impact Assessment Act. Moe has called this the “no more pipelines bill.”

The act makes it so major infrastructure projects, like pipelines and mines, have to look at potential impacts on the environment, public health, economy and increase requirements to consult with First Nations and other affected communities.

On the equalization file, the PMO said Trudeau reminded Moe the current formula was set by the Stephen Harper government and his cabinet, which included now Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Trudeau reportedly suggested Moe, as the current chair of the Council of the Federation, use his position to try and build consensus on potential changes to the formula with his fellow premiers.

On carbon tax, Trudeau talked about the need to have a national minimum price for pollution and said he’s open to working with any province that meets the federal benchmark on their own climate plans.

READ MORE: If Trudeau is serious about allaying western frustration, there are steps he can take

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Recently, both Moe and Saskatchewan Opposition Leader Ryan Meili have been vocal about high natural gas carbon tax bills for farmers who are drying their grain.

The prime minister and premier also discussed the need to get reliable market access for Saskatchewan exports and the ongoing trade issues with China that have been a barrier for agricultural products like canola and meat.

The PMO’s account of the meeting closes by saying Trudeau is looking forward to hearing about discussions coming out of next month’s premiers meeting, chaired by Moe, and meeting with the premiers next year at the First Minister’s meeting.

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