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Danielle Smith's proposed Alberta Sovereignty Act would create a 'banana republic': Kenney

As Danielle Smith released an overview of her proposed act to ignore federal laws, Alberta’s premier says the idea would "shred the rule of law" and lead to Alberta becoming a "banana republic."

Smith, who is running in the United Conservative Party’s leadership race to replace Jason Kenney, released more details on her proposed Alberta Sovereignty Act (ASA) on Tuesday morning. The proposal would see Alberta refuse to enforce federal laws and policies deemed not in the province’s best interest.

In a news release, Smith says the act would protect Alberta "from the destructive overreach of Ottawa."

The leadership candidate says the ASA would be one of the first bills tabled in the legislature if she were elected as UCP leader and premier. It would see MLAs vote on a "special motion" on any federal government policy that "appears to violate Alberta’s jurisdictional rights" under the constitution, the overview says.

"The majority of Albertans are frustrated with the ineffective letter writing campaigns and empty rhetoric employed by past premiers in dealing with attacks on Alberta by our Federal government, and want effective action to deal with the 'Ottawa Problem' without further delay," reads part of the overview.

Invoking the act would be done "relatively sparingly, Smith said, but examples of possible uses include federal rules on vaccination, the use of the Emergencies Act and enforcing of federal gun laws.


On Tuesday, Kenney again slammed the idea of a sovereignty act, calling it a "full-frontal attack on the rule of law."

Kenney says Alberta’s economy is heading in the right direction with investment and job creation, "all of which would be jeopardized if Alberta decides to become a banana republic that refuses to respect the authority of the courts, of the constitution and suddenly decides to move towards separation."

"The so-called sovereignty act would effectively bring us to the brink of separation from Canada."

It’s not just the premier who is critical of the act; legal experts have criticized the proposal since Smith first pitched it.

"It's totally unconstitutional," Martin Olszynski, an associate professor at the University of Calgary’s faculty of law, said last month.

"It is it is completely, totally incompatible with both our constitution, and also with just our basic form of government," he said of the act.

In her overview of the proposal, Smith referred to criticism as "knee-jerk opposition" because the bill has yet to be written.

In response to Kenney’s most recent criticism of the idea, Smith team says his attacks sound "a lot like Justin Trudeau and Rachel Notley talking points."

"Danielle hopes he eventually realizes this and reconsiders his opposition," said a statement sent to CTV News on Tuesday afternoon.

"If Danielle is victorious on Oct. 6, she plans on reaching out to the premier and discussing how they can work together to unite the party. She is hopeful that he will use his energies to leave a lasting legacy of unity, rather than one of division. She sincerely thinks he still has a lot to offer in that regard." Top Stories

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