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Prime Minister says Ottawa will work constructively with Alberta after sovereignty act passes

Click to play video: 'Alberta passes amended sovereignty act'
Alberta passes amended sovereignty act
WATCH: Alberta's governing United Conservative Party has passed its controversial sovereignty act, but removed a provision which would have given Premier Danielle Smith extraordinary powers. Eric Sorensen explains why the act is still causing controversy despite the changes, including how Indigenous leaders see the legislation as a threat to their rights. – Dec 8, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is going to work as constructively as possible with Alberta after lawmakers passed Premier Danielle Smith’s controversial sovereignty act.

“We are not going to get into arguing about something that obviously is the Alberta government trying to push back at the federal government,” Trudeau said Thursday in Ottawa.

“We are going to continue to work as constructively as possible.”

Read more: Alberta passes sovereignty act, but first strips out sweeping powers to cabinet

Read next: Premier Danielle Smith greets Prime Minister Trudeau with awkward handshake, grimace

The legislature passed the legislation overnight after stripping out a provision that would have granted the provincial cabinet extraordinary powers.

Click to play video: 'Alberta passes sovereignty act, but first strips out sweeping powers to cabinet'
Alberta passes sovereignty act, but first strips out sweeping powers to cabinet

Smith described the legislation during a third and final reading of the bill as a resetting of the relationship with Trudeau and the federal government.

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Indigenous groups had called for the bill to be scrapped, saying they had not received any consultation on the legislation or how it will infringe on Indigenous rights. The Opposition New Democrats described it as “a hot mess express.”

Read more: Treaty Chiefs demand sovereignty bills be withdrawn by Alta., Sask. governments

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Randy Boissonnault, a federal Liberal cabinet minister from Alberta, said nobody has asked for this legislation.

“I am concerned to see what the applications of this are,” he said.

Boissonnault called the legislation a “great distraction,” and said people and businesses are concerned about how it could compromise economic growth for the province.

He said the federal government is not looking to pick a fight with Alberta and the key to success is collaboration.

“My appeal to the premier and to her colleagues is for us to work together.”

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