Notley says other provinces owe it to Alberta to find a solution for the oil crisis
Alberta’s low oil prices will now be among the topics of discussion at the first ministers meeting in Montreal on Friday, but Premier Notley says she isn't happy with the amount of time given to discuss the issue.
When a copy of the agenda was leaked to CTV News on Wednesday, the topics of low oil prices and the energy sector were noticeably absent from the document, irking Premier Notley and Saskatchewan’s Premier Scott Moe.
Notley, who has been vigorously fighting for Alberta’s oil industry, sent a letter to Ottawa earlier this week to have the issue added to the agenda. Now, she wants to make sure that low oil prices get enough time at the table to ensure that positive change is made.
“We don’t need to waste time for people to take self-congratulatory victory laps on things that have already happened. Nor do we need to spend a lot of time on apple vodka labelling,” she told the media in Edmonton on Thursday.
She reiterated that the situation in Alberta is a crisis but the amount of time she was told would be allocated towards discussions is not adequate.
“The bottom line is this; Canada needs Alberta to do well. We are not in a business-as-usual situation right now, it does not make sense that the only situation we can do is to restrict production. That is not a long-term solution and it’s about time we start having meaningful, pragmatic and focused discussions about actual solutions.”
Notley says that she hopes she has the support of other premiers to make sure enough time is spent on addressing the issue too.
“They understand that Alberta’s contribution to Canada’s fiscal framework is significant. They understand that citizens from across this country find work in Alberta. So I’m hoping there will be support for us to talk about this and come out with some meaningful pressure and changes.”
Notley and Moe weren’t the only ones who took issue with the discussion topics at the meeting. Ontario Premier Doug Ford demanded that the Prime Minister discuss certain topics at the meeting.
Ford threatened that if his demands weren’t added to the agenda, he would not participate in the meeting at all and urged other premiers to follow suit.
Notley wouldn’t say whether or not she would consider walking out of discussions, instead telling reporters that she will take every opportunity she can to raise awareness about the issue.
The first ministers meeting officially begins on Friday.
(With files from Jordan Kanygin and The Canadian Press)