Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks to media after meeting with private sector economists, in Toronto on February 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Premiers’ demands on environment bills an ‘unhelpful’ threat to unity: Morneau

Premiers demand feds to change two bills on the verge of being passed in Parliament

The federal Liberals say it’s conservative premiers who are putting Canada at risk in a fight over oil and the environment.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says in a letter to six right-leaning premiers Friday it’s “unhelpful to threaten national unity” if their demands to change two bills on the verge of being passed in Parliament aren’t met.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney urges feds to scrap oil tanker ban bill on B.C. north coast

The premiers of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories wrote to the prime minister Monday urging him to amend or abandon bills restricting tanker traffic on part of B.C.’s coast and overhauling the federal environmental-assessment system for major construction projects.

The premiers said changes to the bills are needed to “avoid further alienating provinces” and “focus on uniting the country.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the premiers of playing games with national unity to pursue their policy goals.

The written response from Morneau says the changes the premiers want would compromise Canadians’ health and jobs, infringe Indigenous people’s rights and harm endangered species.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Andrew Bellerby out as RDCK’s regional fire chief

Bellerby held the job since January 2016

Kootenay Co-op adopts sensory friendly shopping

The new quiet hours run Sunday evenings 7:30 to 9 p.m.

LETTER: Slash and burn eyesores

From reader Tony Holland

VIDEO: Human-sized insects and a huge peach take over Nelson’s Capitol Theatre stage

Summer youth production James and the Giant Peach runs July 25 to 27

Annual Columbia Basin Culture tour coming up Aug 10 and 11

There are locations across the region participating

VIDEO: Plant-based burgers may not be as healthy as they seem

Both the Impossible and Beyond Burger have more saturated fat than beef burgers

Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall

Celebrity attended Nanaimo meeting with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

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

‘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

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.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Most Read