UCP Leader Jason Kenney in Red Deer while on the campaign trail before his Tuesday night election win. (Robin Grant/Red Deer Express )

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Jason Kenney’s Alberta election victory sent ripples of enthusiasm and concern across Canada Wednesday.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford welcomed a rising Conservative wave, British Columbia grappled with the Kenny campaign promise of squeezing its oil supply and Quebec stood firm on its rejection of oil pipelines.

Kenney’s United Conservative Party captured 63 seats and more than 55 per cent of the popular vote, defeating the incumbent government of Rachel Notley’s New Democrats.

In B.C. on Wednesday, where gasoline prices soared above $1.70 per litre in Metro Vancouver, Kenney’s promise to use Alberta legislation to “cut off the taps” produced varying opinions from experts who say it’s either bluster or a weapon to punish the province for its opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial.

“We had a positive conversation,” said Horgan at a news conference in Prince George, B.C. “We agreed we will meet in the short term.”

Kenney will be at a First Ministers gathering in Saskatoon in the coming months where the two leaders can meet, said the B.C. premier.

READ MORE: B.C. braces for another round of pipeline battle with Alberta’s Jason Kenney

Horgan had appeared more doubtful about Kenney’s election promises in the final days of the Alberta campaign.

“During election campaigns, quite often, political leaders speak hyperbolically,” he said Tuesday at a public event. “They are overly aggressive. They focus on trying to pander to the lowest common denominators. I think Canadians want to work together to meet the challenges of climate change.”

David Black, a political communications expert at Victoria’s Royal Roads University, said he expects Kenney to make good on his pledge to proclaim and attempt to use the powers of Bill 12, Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act.

“It will be a test of this government’s willingness to turn the campaign rhetoric into political reality,” he said. “All that was promised about a war footing and a war room, and a kind of actively belligerent UCP government, that will materialize if Bill 12 is made law.”

Alberta’s Bill 12 includes government orders to cease transporting natural gas, crude oil and refined fuels out of the province.

Kathryn Harrison, a political scientist at University of B.C., said a constitutional court battle between B.C. and Alberta will ensue if Kenney attempts to shut the taps.

“This is mostly bluster at this point,” she said. “It’s still a step removed from actually using it to restrict oil supply to B.C. To do that now, before B.C. has acted on its own legislation, while we’re awaiting the court’s ruling on the constitutionality of B.C.’s law, and with federal approval pending, would hurt the Alberta industry for no clear purpose.”

READ MORE: Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

Quebec Premier Francois Legault congratulated Kenney on his victory, but reminded the incoming premier that Quebec’s position on oil pipelines hasn’t changed.

All parties in Quebec’s legislature oppose any new oil pipelines, said Legault.

“What I am saying is there is no social acceptability for a new oil pipeline in Quebec,” he said.

However, Legault said Quebec is open to a proposed natural gas pipeline coming from Alberta.

Kenney said Alberta’s economy is desperate for pipelines that can carry oil to international markets.

Speaking in French on Tuesday night after his victory, Kenney said his province needs pipelines for the prosperity of all Canadians.

In Ontario, Doug Ford welcomed Kenney’s opposition to the federal carbon tax.

Ford stood in the legislature Wednesday to congratulate Kenney, with the rest of the Tory caucus rising for a standing ovation.

“We see just a blue wave going across this country from west to east,” Ford said. “We’re building an anti-carbon tax alliance like this country has never seen.”

Kenney’s victory adds strength to the conservative movement across Canada as a fall federal election approaches, both Black and Harrison said.

“Jason Kenney represents at a national level the person who is best positioned to articulate a conservative Canada,” said Black. “If we’re looking at some kind of fundamental axis between a conservative Canada with all their provincial governments, including the CAQ in Quebec, … Kenney will become the voice for that Canada.”

— With files from Graeme Hamilton in Montreal and Allison Jones in Toronto.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Body found believed to be missing Chilliwack senior with dementia

Police says case is now in the hands of the coroner

Mammoth sturgeon catch was ‘a fish of a lifetime’ for Chilliwack guide

Sturgeon was so enormous it tied for largest specimen every tagged and released in the Fraser

Chilliwack’s Riley Ashley unstoppable as Team BC wins baseball gold

Ashley clubbed six homeruns at the U-13 National Western Championships in Cloverdale.

Chilliwack’s Jude Hall selected for T12 baseball tournament

The Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Academy hosts the annual showcase event at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Motorists urged to use caution as Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls through Chilliwack

Thousands of cyclists will be heading through Chilliwack this weekend as part of cancer fundraiser

Pickle me this: All the outrageous foods at this year’s PNE

Pickled cotton candy, deep-fried chicken skins, and ramen corndogs are just a start

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Fraser River sea bus proposed to hook into TransLink system

Maple Ridge councillor just wants to start discussion

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Most Read