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

Court supports Maple Ridge role in tent city

Rejects Pivot application to allow people to return

City video updates Maple Ridge Leisure Centre re-do

Rusty support columns delaying project by a few months

Maple Ridge councillor back at work

Duncan away because of car accident

Seniors conquer the arctic

Pitt Meadows guide led 35-day trek

Moonstruck amateur historian chronicled lunar missions

Maple Ridge man’s 50-year-old scrapbook under the gavel on anniversary of the moon walk

VIDEO: Wet weather kicks off Lower Mainland toad migration

Thousands of small western toads were making the trek from pond to woods

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes near Agassiz

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read