Alberta Premier Jason Kenney warned of a constitutional crisis brewing over the Liberal government’s energy and environmental policies Thursday, saying Ottawa has no business regulating provincially owned resources.
At a Senate hearing, Mr. Kenney took aim at Bill C-69, Ottawa’s contentious bill to overhaul the assessment of major resource projects. He compared the legislation to the 1980s National Energy Program, which was condemned by then-Alberta premier Peter Lougheed as an unacceptable federal encroachment.
Mr. Lougheed once described the NEP as akin to the federal government “simply walking into our homes and occupying the living room,” Mr. Kenney recalled. “That is exactly how I would describe Bill C-69.”
Unless the government accepts major amendments, Mr. Kenney said Alberta will challenge Bill C-69 in court. The Premier also attacked environmental groups that accept some foreign funding and have sought to “strangle” the province’s key industry by blocking pipelines.
The Premier said there is growing support for separatism in his province, and Liberal policies will further inflame the feeling of alienation. Mr. Kenney accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whom he will meet with later Thursday, of working with the environmental lobby to block pipeline projects and thwart the oil industry’s effort to expand its exports.
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