EDMONTON, AB: Official Opposition Leader Jason Kenney renewed his call for an emergency session of the Legislature to allow MLAs to debate how best to defend Alberta’s vital economic interests in the face of threats by the Government of British Columbia to block the export of Alberta oil through the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
“Last week I wrote the Premier asking that her Government convene an emergency sitting of the Legislature to allow MLAs of all parties to discuss this critical economic issue, inform the government’s approach, and hopefully show a sign of unity in calling for federal action to get Trans Mountain built. I assured the Premier of our willingness to hold a constructive debate, and to negotiate a motion that would carry unanimous support to send a clear message of cross-party unity in support of Alberta’s energy industry,” Kenney said.
“Since then, the Premier has appointed a Task Force, including non-Albertans, to advise the government on this critical issue. I commend her for doing so. But if the government is willing to seek input from lobbyists, bankers and academics, surely it is time to also seek input from the elected representatives of the people of Alberta.”
Kenney also noted that last week the Senate of Canada held an emergency debate on the Trans Mountain Pipeline, and that today the House of Commons is holding a full day of debate, which will be followed by a vote on the following motion:
That, given the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is in the national interest, will create jobs and provide provinces with access to global markets, the House call on the Prime Minister to prioritize the construction of the federally-approved Trans Mountain Expansion Project by taking immediate action, using all tools available; to establish certainty for the project, and to mitigate damage from the current interprovincial trade dispute, tabling his plan in the House no later than noon on Thursday, February 15, 2018.
“If both Houses of our national Parliament are holding urgent debates on this issue that is so critical to the future of Alberta’s economy, why is the Alberta Legislature not being allowed to do the same?” Kenney asked. “The Alberta Legislature was scheduled to reconvene last week, on February 8. The government decided to delay that by a month. But now we find ourselves in the midst of a trade war, in what the Premier has rightly characterized as an emergency. It’s time to allow the democratic representatives of Albertans have their say, and to show the rest of Canada that we are united in the defence of our jobs and economy.”