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

October is Plastic Free Month in Nelson

City will examine its own plastic use and encourage public to do the same

Fundraiser set for Fastlane to Paradise

The new local show’s fundraiser is Sept. 21 at Finley’s

Don Currie, local athletes win medal haul at 55-plus B.C. Games

Slocan’s Currie took home seven gold medals in track and field

Local runners tackle Toad Mountain

The 25 kilometre and 50 km event took runners over the top of Toad Mountain

VIDEO: Grad classes separated by 65 years find shared hopes, fears

The Nelson High School class of 1954 met with current L.V. Rogers Grade 12 students

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

Most Read