Trudeau accuses conservative premiers of 'petty politics'
Diego Romero and Karyn Mulcahy, CTV News Edmonton
Published Friday, July 12, 2019 6:58AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, July 12, 2019 6:49PM MDT
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says conservative premiers are "unwilling" to invest in infrastructure projects to avoid working with the federal government.
At a meet-and-greet with workers at the Trans Mountain terminal in Strathcona County Friday morning, Trudeau celebrated last month's pipeline expansion announcement and took aim at conservative premiers, including Jason Kenney.
"They would rather have their citizens suffer by not taking advantage of this construction season than stand on stage to make an announcement with the federal government," Trudeau said. "That kind of petty politics that hurts citizens right across the country is an example of the kind of politics that unfortunately conservative premiers are beginning to play."
Trudeau made the remarks after being asked about the Liberal Party strategy heading into a fall election and the public coordination between conservative leaders to defeat him.
In talking about Alberta, specifically, the prime minister said he has an "outstanding" working relationship with Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi on infrastructure projects.
"It's unfortunate that the premiers' office has not been as rapid on highlighting the infrastructure projects that it wants to see us move forward with," Trudeau said. "It would be wonderful for the premiers to stop playing divisive politics."
In a statement to CTV News Edmonton, UCP Director of Communications Christine Myatt said, "The Government of Alberta has advanced 9 projects to Ottawa for consideration under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program."
A spokesperson for Canada Infrastructure told CTV News "many worthwhile community centres and facilities remain in limbo and underserved until the Alberta government decides to use funding available to them."
It was Trudeau's first visit to Alberta since the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project was given federal approval in June. It was also his first visit since the senate passed bills C-48 and C-69, moves that fueled speculation that the Trudeau government is not being genuine about its intentions with the energy sector.
"The level of frustration and alienation that exists in Alberta right now towards Ottawa is at, I believe, its high level, certainly in our country's modern history," said Premier Kenney on Thursday at the Premiers Conference in Saskatoon.