OTTAWA — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are set to meet face-to-face today for the first time since voters in that province threw out all of its Liberal MPs.
Kenney had made the case for months leading up to the federal election that the Liberals were — at their peril — ignoring the concerns of the West but the election result brought the reality of that anger to the fore.
Now Kenney is seeking to channel it for good, bringing Trudeau a list today of five demands he says must be met to get the Alberta and Canadian economies back up to speed.
They include changes to a federal payment program that tops up provincial revenues, amendments to environmental regulations and a firm deadline to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion up and running.
Kenney’s meeting with Trudeau will cap off a two-day trip that included eight provincial cabinet ministers all meeting with their federal counterparts and industry officials.
He says while federal-provincial relations have been tense, he wants to be able to find common ground with the Trudeau government.
Kenney pointed to last week’s meeting of provincial and territorial premiers, and the consensus they arrived at on issues including pipelines and federal funding, as proof there is room for Trudeau to harness existing goodwill.
“Peace in the land is breaking out on some of these issues, and if I was the federal government I would take that as a pretty strong prompt, a nudge, to deliver,” he said Monday after a luncheon speech.
Meanwhile, back in Alberta, the UCP Fair Deal panel held its second meeting in Red Deer Monday night.
Many showed their anger towards the federal government and want to take steps to make Alberta more independence. One man clad in a black cowboy hat said the province should have its own police force.
“We actually rent the RCMP for the services they provide but they still take their marching orders from Ottawa.”
Others in attendance said Alberta needs to fight for fair equalization payments and to get pipelines built.
The next meeting for the panel will be held Tuesday night at the Commonwealth Centre in Calgary.
-with files from The Canadian Press