'Attacks on our economy': Kenney responds to environmental bills
CTV News Edmonton
Published Friday, June 21, 2019 4:57PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, June 21, 2019 6:38PM MDT
Premier Jason Kenney is vowing to fight to federal bills that he says will hurt Alberta’s oil and gas industry.
Bills C-48 and C-69 were both passed in the Senate Thursday. Kenney calls both bills unconstitutional.
Bill C-48 imposes a moratorium on oil tankers loading at ports on the northern coast of British Columbia. Bill C-69 overhauls the federal environmental assessment process for major construction projects.
“You're not imposing a ban on the Bay of Fundy. You're not imposing a ban on the tankers that come down the Gulf of St. Lawrence, you'd shut down the Quebec economy if you did. So why is it just a ban on Alberta exports?” Kenney asked.
The Alberta government is preparing to launch constitutional challenges against both bills, saying they are discriminatory attacks on the province.
New Alberta Senate Election Act coming
Kenney also expressed disappointment in the Alberta-based senators that supported the legislation.
Alberta Senator Grant Mitchell voted in favour for C-48, and he, Patti LaBoucane-Benson and Paula Simons all voted in favour of C-69.
In response, Kenney said his government will introduce a new Alberta Senate Election Act during this session.
“Last night’s votes clearly demonstrated that elected senators, who have a direct line of accountability to Alberta voters, are much more likely to defend strategic and economic interests,” Kenney said.
The legislation would allow senate elections beginning in October 2021.
A referendum of equalization could be in Alberta’s future as well.
“Albertans cannot be expected to continue to pay the freight in the Canadian federation if the same federation continues to block our ability to develop and get a fair price for our resources,” Kenney said.
Kenney said Alberta’s ability to develop its resources is being hindered by these bills, the federal carbon tax and potentially blocked access to a pipeline to tidewater.