Dear Jason Kenney;

The Premier’s conference is being held in New Brunswick this week and, like any other political gathering, some Premiers are lobbying for their interests.  Currently, the Premiers of Saskatchewan and Ontario, Scott Moe and Doug Ford respectively, are trying to gather support for their case against a national carbon tax.

Anti-carbon tax advocate Jim Karahalios submitted a commentary to the Financial Post yesterday claiming “…the number of provinces supporting the federal carbon tax looks like it’s down to five – maybe four.”  It appears he was off by just a few.  Currently, the Premiers of Saskatchewan and Ontario are the only two willing to waste their respective province’s tax dollars on a federal court case.  Jason Kenney, United Conservative Party leader and hopeful Premier of Alberta come 2019, has already declared he would be more than willing to throw away some of the Alberta taxpayers’ cash at it as well.

Canada Premier’s Conference 2018 Photo: @RachelNotley on Twitter

But another Premier may also be considering support: B.C.’s John Horgan.  Alberta will recall that this Premier is attempting to halt construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) with his own case where he is seeking clarification on the federal government’s jurisdiction over provincial authority. Why would a Premier of a province that has a carbon tax join a case against the federal government to fight federal jurisdiction?

For the same reason previously argued in April: a win for Saskatchewan and Ontario and Alberta hopeful Jason Kenney would provide reference for Horgan’s own case against federal authority.   While a number of people rail against the carbon tax, Alberta’s United Conservative Party has been especially tone deaf to the bigger picture.

The federal government wanted support from the provinces for a carbon tax.  The Premier of Alberta knew she needed support from the federal government for the Trans Mountain Expansion.  In return for Alberta’s cooperation, the federal government has reaffirmed its support for the pipeline, bought the damned pipeline, and is trying to build the pipeline because Alberta, and Canada, needs it.

The federal government has used nothing but political capital to help Alberta get the pipeline built.  Kenney needs to remember he is no longer in federal politics and get onside with the interests of the province he claims to want to represent.  This is not about Kenney’s petty dislike of Trudeau or his eagerness to support his fellow conservatives for the good of the federal conservatives; this is about Alberta’s interests.  The time has come to pick a side.

This article contains both fact and opinion.  Links to supporting documentation provided.

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean
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