Premier, sovereignty bill are barriers to progress on emerging energy: Alberta NDP

UCP leader and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and NDP Leader Rachel Notley. Jason Franson and Jeff McIntosh, The Canadian Press

Alberta’s Opposition NDP leader wants to see more details of Ottawa’s proposed plan for green energy jobs but says Premier Danielle Smith’s knee-jerk criticism and her sovereignty act don’t help anyone.

Rachel Notley says she wants to see a plan with practical, achievable greenhouse gas emissions targets while supporting jobs in the oil and gas sector that would position the province to support and benefit from emerging green technologies.

Read more: Smith talks energy, ‘just transition’ legislation in provincial update

Notley says Smith needs to craft a strategy that will benefit Alberta in the long run rather than refusing to participate while lobbing angry, long-distance attacks at the federal government.

Notley also says the sovereignty act, which promises to allow Alberta to ignore federal laws, raises questions about the province’s legal stability that would have a chilling effect on billions of potential energy investment dollars.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Premier Smith unhappy again with federal government’s sustainability legislation

Last week, federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Ottawa will move ahead this spring with legislation to provide the framework for its green energy jobs plan.

A “just transition,” as it is called, was part of the 2015 Paris agreement Canada signed that involves preparing the workforce to fully participate in the low-carbon economy while minimizing the effects of labour market transitions.

The federal government says it will be training and providing an incentive blueprint for workers to make the transition.

Smith says she, too, would work on a plan with practical solutions and achievable targets, but adds that she fears the plan is a Trojan Horse aimed at making Alberta’s oil and gas industry extinct.

Click to play video: 'Alberta premier pledges to fight feds’ ‘just transition’ bill for oil, gas workers'
Alberta premier pledges to fight feds’ ‘just transition’ bill for oil, gas workers

Sponsored content