Premier-Designate Jason Kenney addresses the media the day his after his election victory in Edmonton on Wednesday April 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

Jason Kenney, Alberta’s incoming premier, said he cordially talked pipelines Wednesday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — Kenney’s political nemesis and his election campaign pinata — and said the plan is to meet soon for a one-on-one.

“He called to offer his congratulations. We spoke for about 15 minutes,” Kenney said outside Alberta’s legislature building.

“We had a respectful conversation about a number of issues, including the need to get Canadian energy to foreign markets.”

READ MORE: Orange peeled: Jason Kenney’s UCP defeats NDP with majority in Alberta

Kenney said he and Trudeau will try to meet shortly after Kenney and his new United Conservative government are sworn in on April 30.

It was a much anticipated conversation, given that Kenney successfully leveraged voter dissatisfaction with Trudeau in Alberta’s election, painting NDP Premier Rachel Notley as a weak enabler of federal energy policies he says are undermining its oil and gas sector.

On Tuesday, Kenney’s United Conservatives won a strong majority government over Notley’s NDP, reducing core NDP support to mainly the city of Edmonton.

Kenney and Notley have attacked the federal Liberals on proposed legislation, including a tanker ban on the northern B.C. coast and Bill C-69.

Bill C-69, now before the Senate, creates new approval rules for energy projects, which Kenney calls an unconstitutional power grab on areas of provincial authority.

The Kenney-Trudeau nexus is expected to play a pivotal role as the UCP work to implement its core campaign promise to create more jobs and grow the oil and gas sector.

Kenney has promised to fight Bill C-69 in court. He will also go to court to try to stop the federal government from imposing a carbon tax on Alberta once his UCP follows through next month on its promise to repeal the Alberta-made carbon levy.

Kenney, a former federal cabinet minister under Stephen Harper, has said the mere existence of Trudeau in power threatens Alberta’s economic prospects and has said he will do whatever he can to see Trudeau defeated in the fall election.

The fight is also personal. Almost a year ago, Kenney, in a newspaper interview, dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight.

“I know Justin. He doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. This guy is an empty trust-fund millionaire who has the political depth of a finger bowl,” Kenney said at the time.

Kenney said Wednesday that the plan, for now, is to be positive.

“We will begin with the path of diplomacy and try to find common ground,” he said.

“We hope that we don’t need to use more forceful measures to assert Alberta’s vital economic interests.”

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

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

Kenney also won the election on a promise to be more forceful with other provinces, saying that Albertans feel its neighbours are happy to share in the bounty of Alberta’s oil wealth while opposing measures like pipelines to help it grow.

In Quebec, Premier Francois Legault congratulated Kenney on his electoral victory Wednesday but said all parties in Quebec’s legislature still oppose any new oil pipelines.

Kenney said he also wants to start on a positive note with Legault, but added: “We don’t think it’s reasonable for other provinces, like Quebec, to take our equalization money while opposing pipeline projects that can help us pay the bills.”

Kenney has said that the first day of his government will see him proclaim into law a bill passed by Notley’s legislature allowing Alberta to reduce oil flows to B.C. if B.C. continues to thwart the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline to take more Alberta oil to the West Coast.

He said he plans to recall the legislature in the third week of May.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: History brought to life at engine show in Chilliwack

Machine history fires up at Atchelitz Threshermen’s Association site

GW Graham basketball star Geevon Janday joining Dalhousie University Tigers

The senior goes from Pacific to Atlantic coast, continuing his hoops career in the U-Sports ranks.

Delays en route for Highway 7 in Harrison Mills

Road resurfacing will cause month-long delays for drivers travelling through Harrison Mills

Chilliwack’s pediatric observation unit gets financial shot from trades workers

Unions and contractors donate more than $30,000 to Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

The luckiest man in Agassiz finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Fraser Valley man dead after car hurtles from embankment west of Campbell River

Survivor of crash rushed to hospital by helicopter in serious condition

B.C. premier hints at twin-tunnel plan for Metro Vancouver’s Massey Tunnel

John Horgan cancelled plans for a 10-lane bridge to replace the 60-year-old tunnel shortly after taking office

Police investigate ‘serious collision’ between motorcycle, truck in Vancouver

Motorists asked to stay away from Blanca Street & West 4 Avenue

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Metro Vancouver mayors ask public to lobby feds for annual $375M transit fund

Mayors renewing their call for transit funding as federal election looms

Most Read