EDMONTON, AB: Premier Rachel Notley needs to start building instead of tearing down Alberta’s relationship with Saskatchewan at the Premiers’ meeting this week, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
Last summer, Notley found herself in a war of words with Saskatchewan’s Premier Brad Wall after he gave a vocal defense of Canada’s oil and gas sector. Tuesday, Notley again found herself pitted against Alberta’s strongest ally over an interprovincial trade dispute.
“At a time of economic uncertainty, Premier Notley should be strengthening ties with allies that strongly support our industries,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Instead, she has spent more energy courting policies and agreements that will chase away jobs and raise power bills than building partnerships with our neighbors in Western Canada.”
Wildrose Shadow Economic Development and Trade Minister Prasad Panda said the threat of trade disputes and disunity among western provinces is bad for Alberta at a time when Ottawa continues to throw more red tape, regulations and tax increases on job creators and Canada’s energy sector.
“We need to do all that we can to make sure we are growing our industries here at home, but that doesn’t mean ignoring phone calls from provincial neighbors,” Panda said. “Alberta should look to encourage more interprovincial free trade and invite investment to Alberta by restoring the Alberta Advantage. While myself and over 500 stakeholders and legislators are talking about building better relations and trade opportunities at the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region conference in Calgary, I am concerned that Premier Notley’s approach to our neighbor and partner will hurt Alberta’s economy and jobs.”