Kenney meeting Trudeau in Ottawa to fight for 'fair deal' for Alberta
CALGARY -- Premier Jason Kenney and eight of his cabinet members are in Ottawa this week in an effort to fight for what Kenney calls a "fair deal" for all Albertans.
Kenney is expected to discuss everything from pipelines to equalization when he speaks at the Canadian Club of Ottawa on Monday. Alberta's premier will then have a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, their first meeting since the 2019 federal election.
"Alberta has been a massive contributor to Canadian jobs and prosperity, to social programs and social progress and yet we’re not getting a deal with a lack of market access and the blockage of pipelines," said Kenney. "We need to see action and we are not seeking a special deal — we’re seeking a fair deal."
Kenney will focus on Bills C-69 and Bills C-48, which he defines as "no pipelines" legislation, and he will ask the prime minister for a fixed completion date of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C.
The premier is also expected to push for changes to the fiscal stabilization fund as a follow to the resolution passed unanimously at last week’s provincial leaders meeting in Toronto.
This fund helps provinces facing year-over-year declines in non-resource revenues, but Kenney says Alberta is being short-changed due to caps tied to the size of its population. He's demanding Alberta receive $2.4 billion in fiscal stabilization going back to the start of the oil collapse in 2014.
"We (Alberta) have contributed $600 billion net to the rest of the country over the past decade and we contributed around $20 billion a year more to Ottawa than Albertans receive back in benefits of services," said Kenney.
"If Ottawa and the rest of the country wants to benefit from Alberta as the goose that laid the golden egg in modern Canadian history, then Ottawa needs to unleash us to be able to develop resources and get to global markets."
Political analyst with Mount Royal University, Lori Williams, says Kenney’s meeting with Trudeau will be crucial in developing a strong relationship over the next few years.
"It’s important for them to speak," said Williams. "That Kenney advocate on behalf of what Alberta needs and that he doesn’t just look to the next election."
"Kenney has to look at partnerships with the federal government and what that will do for Albertans."
Amid growing frustrations, talks of western separation and Wexit rallies continue.
Kenney still affirms himself as being a Canadian patriot, but he did create the provincial Fair Deal Panel in November and tasked it with creating recommendations for how to advance Alberta’s economic interests within Confederation. Some of those recommendations include Alberta potentially removing itself from the Canada Pension Plan and creating its own police force.