Alberta premier wants to 'cut the fluff,' avoid going over old ground at ministers' meeting
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she’ll have allies in the room to help push talks on the oil-price crisis at the upcoming first ministers’ meeting in Montreal.
She says she expects there will be support for her government’s concerns because all provinces depend on a healthy Alberta economy to some extent for their schools, hospitals and roads.
Watch below: “Alberta has to do well for Canada to do well,” Notley said before leaving for the first ministers’ meeting. She expects other leaders to support productive conversation around oil.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to face criticism from premiers about the federal approach to pipelines, carbon taxes and oil prices — none of which are specifically on the agenda.
Speaking at the Edmonton airport before flying to Quebec, she noted that forecasts for Canada’s economic growth are already more muted because of the low price Alberta is getting for its oil.
She also says she doesn’t want to spend time listening to what the federal government says it is already doing to try to address the issue.
Notley says the first ministers need to talk about concrete ways to keep people employed and to keep Canada’s economy prosperous.
Watch below: Before leaving for the first ministers’ meeting, Notley said she wants to add the energy industry to the agenda. We need to “cut the fluff and change the agenda.”
In Ontario, Doug Ford’s office says the Ontario premier is prepared to walk away from the meeting Friday if it does not include specific discussions on the carbon tax.
Ford is set to meet with Trudeau in Montreal this afternoon.
Sources familiar with the dispute say Ford and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe have not been satisfied by the federal response that the first ministers meeting agenda already includes a discussion on economic competitiveness — a broad topic that Ottawa says will allow premiers to raise all the issues they please.
Ontario government house leader Todd Smith says the agenda doesn’t deal with the concerns of the provinces, which include the carbon tax, a planned General Motors plant closure in Ontario and the oil-price crisis.
Federal officials have privately conceded that little headway is likely to be made on the official objective of the meeting: reducing inter-provincial trade barriers.
Watch below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley wants leaders to take enough time to talk about important issues like infrastructure and trade that are connected to Canada’s oil price issue.