On Saturday, I will be airing a wide-ranging interview I recorded on Thursday with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
On the Q&A agenda was Teck Corp.’s more than $20-billion Frontier oilsands project, which is awaiting a green light from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He remains firmly seated on his hands, having given himself until the end of February to declare whether the Teck project has his minority government’s support or whether it will suffer the fate of other pipeline projects that were cancelled during Trudeau’s first administration.
Kenney is abundantly clear Trudeau has zero option to declare nay or in any way attempt to side-step a full endorsement of the Teck initiative. On this, Kenney is supported by Indigenous communities directly be affected by the Teck mine.
Meanwhile, First Nations chiefs in British Columbia voice their continued objections to Teck, effectively pitting Indigenous communities against each other, and in adjoining provinces already uneasy with each other.
Is Teck a player in the national unity issue?
“Alberta is a boiling cauldron about to blow its lid off. It will do so if the new Teck oilsands project is delayed or turned down by the federal government this spring,” writes Jack Mintz of the University of Calgary School of Public Policy.
Kenney (@jkenney) responded on Twitter: “Dr. @jackmintz is right on the money: The growing debate in Alberta on autonomy has gone past the point of one or two pipelines getting built. It is about Alberta’s future and Albertans are looking for the shackles to be taken off.”
You will hear Kenney share that he raised Teck’s Frontier mine in a recent face-to-face with Trudeau. The prime minister refused to engage at all.
In our conversation, Kenney wonders whether perhaps Trudeau said all he has to say at a Peterborough, Ont., town hall meeting in 2017: “We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out.”
I quizzed the Alberta premier on his government’s determination to continue its challenge of the imposition of the federal carbon tax, as well as Trudeau’s claim the federal rebate plan will return to Albertans extra monies the carbon tax is forcing them to part with.
There is more, including Kenney’s view of the federal firearms ban initiative.
Tune in live or listen on the show podcast at roygreenshow.com.
Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.