Alberta Conservative leader Jason Kenney records a video message at Burrard Inlet in Vancouver, arguing for better access to Pacific coast shipping for Alberta oil and gas, March 4, 2018. (Twitter)

Alberta Conservative leader Jason Kenney records a video message at Burrard Inlet in Vancouver, arguing for better access to Pacific coast shipping for Alberta oil and gas, March 4, 2018. (Twitter)

B.C. wine ban lifted too soon, Alberta’s Jason Kenney says

Premier John Horgan’s anti-pipeline strategy ‘100 little ankle-biting efforts’

Alberta United Conservative leader Jason Kenney spent a few days in B.C. this week. Black Press legislature reporter Tom Fletcher spoke with him about pipelines, protesters and politics.

TF: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has applied to intervene in a case that the B.C. NDP government has already joined to support the City of Burnaby challenge of the National Energy Board permits for Kinder Morgan Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Is that what she should be doing?

JK: Yes. I called on her to do this weeks ago. This is sort of the pattern. Last July when the John Horgan NDP government came to power, I called for a fight-back strategy to deal with his threat to block Kinder Morgan. Premier Notley mocked me at the time, but now seems to be taking a page from our playbook.

What the NDP in Victoria is trying to do is attack Canada’s economic union, undermine our constitution and rule of law, and they’re really attacking our country’s future economic prosperity. We have the third largest oil reserves on Earth. They have a value of trillions of dollars. That’s the ability to pay for future pensions, debts, health care and everything else. If we don’t get that to global markets, it means we’re leaving a monopoly to some of the world’s worst regimes, like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran and Russia.

We should be displacing that conflict oil with ethically produced Canadian oil, generated with the highest environmental and labour standards on Earth.

TF: What should the Notley government be doing that they’re not?

JK: First of all, they should have been much faster off the mark to challenge their New Democrat friends on this stuff. I think the Alberta government was wrong to pull back on the wine boycott. I don’t see any relenting by the B.C. New Democrats.

This court reference [on legality of restricting diluted bitumen shipments from Alberta] is just another delay tactic, creating yet more uncertainty. The NDP-Green strategy here is death by delay. It’s 100 little ankle-biting efforts through municipal regulation, proposed provincial regulations, court challenges, protests. They hope the cumulative effect of all of that is to create enough investor uncertainty that Kinder Morgan walks away, and that’s why we need to keep fighting.

I’ve talked about a whole range of other consequences, up to and including, if B.C. blocks the shipment of Alberta oil, why would we allow B.C. to ship natural gas through Alberta, toll free to U.S. markets?

When you launch a trade war, as the Horgan government has, you look for whatever leverage points you have. Alberta is not spoiling for a fight. We want to defend free trade, from which we think all Canadians benefit, and our constitution.

Why in the world is it easier to move goods between the 28 sovereign member states of the European Union than Alberta and British Columbia? It is absurd. It’s a violation of the vision of Confederation and the rule of law, and it cannot stand.

TF: What should the federal government be doing?

JK: The federal government could stop this today by declaring that Trans Mountain is in the national interest. Under Section 92-10C of the Constitution Act, the federal government has that so-called declaratory power. It’s been used hundreds of times in Canadian history, not recently, but it allows the federal government to basically strike down any provincial laws or regulations seeking to inhibit a project that is designated as in the national interest.

TF: What about Notley’s plan to use $1 billion for grants and loan guarantees to expand upgrading of heavy crude in Alberta, and the idea that exporting raw bitumen is exporting jobs?

JK: I would be delighted if a company came along, willing to risk up to $20 billion to build a full-scale crude refinery in Canada. But there are market reasons why that hasn’t happened, and I’m not prepared to risk taxpayers’ dollars by getting the government in the business of refining oil. In the real world of the marketplace, there is excess refining capacity in the integrated North American energy market, I’m told.

TF: We’ve had a lot of talk here about the B.C. NDP’s relationship with big environment groups. What do you think about what’s happening here in B.C.?

JK: I’ve seen your reports on this, and as a Canadian, thank you for exhibiting the lost art of journalism by actually doing some digging. The Harper government was ridiculed for referring to a co-ordinated campaign by radical environmentalists to stop our energy industry. Now we see clear proof of what’s happening – foreign-funded organizations co-ordinating to bottleneck Canada’s resources.

It’s outrageous that the B.C. environment minister has been collaborating with these people who advocate law-breaking tactics. There have been some very naive politicians in Canada who seem to think that if we impose upon ourselves the highest environmental standards, and then on top of that, carbon taxes, like Alberta and B.C., that somehow the opponents of resource development will turn themselves into supporters.

That hasn’t happened. These folks, these hives and swarms, alliances, they are ideologically hostile to resource development, period. And the faster governments indicate that their civil disobedience will not stop our nation’s economy, the better.

I’m concerned when I see these people popping out in front of trucks trying to make their way to the Kinder Morgan development. The RCMP show up, they walk away, they’re not arrested or detained, and as soon as the cops are gone, they jump in front of the trucks again. I’m sorry, we cannot allow people to play cat and mouse with the country’s economic future or the rule of law. There have to be consequences.

And we need to get to the bottom of the funding sources. As Vivian Krause has documented, Tides Canada has received over $40 million in the past decade to fight against Canada’s economic interests. Why are we allowing this?

JK: And these organizations getting involved with foreign money in our election campaigns? Thankfully Senator Linda Frum has a private member’s bill to stop foreign money from influencing Canadian campaigns.

A U.S. Senate committee just concluded last week that it has incontrovertible evidence of an organized Russian social media trolling campaign to fight the American energy industry. I’d like to see an investigation into whether or not the same thing is happening to the Canadian energy industry.

And by the way, if these people get their way and landlock Canada’s energy, it won’t make one whit of difference to the global environment, because Venezuela, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran are not going to stop producing and shipping energy. If the green left gets its way, it’s handing a monopoly position to OPEC plus Russia.

TF: If you’re successful in the Alberta election next year, how do you deal with Ottawa’s plan to impose a carbon tax?

JK: Bill number one of an Alberta Conservative government will be the Carbon Tax Repeal Act. If the federal Liberals then try to impose their carbon tax on us, we’ll fight them in court. We will join the pending Saskatchewan constitutional challenge of the federal carbon tax and go all the way up the Supreme Court of Canada. We think there’s a strong argument that it’s an invasion of provincial jurisdiction.

If the court rules against us, and if the Trudeau Liberals are re-elected, we would then set up a rebate scheme to return 100 per cent of the carbon tax revenues to Albertans. Because the feds say they’ll rebate the funds to the provincial government.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

#TransMtnBC legislaturewine ban

Just Posted

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

Vernon local Ryan Lazar – who specializes in 2D background design and 3D animation – is ready to start his career after a tough yet rewarding two years of studies. (Contributed)
Okanagan College students get animated at graduation

‘The pandemic has resulted in more video consumption and the animation industry is so hot right now because of it’

There were questions raised as to whether or not this structure actually cost less than $100,000. Scott Robertson, owner of Absolute Contracting and partial owner for Arrowtec, said the building is meant to be
temporary as two or three years down the road, his company’s intent is develop houses on the property in line with the land use designated to the property in the Official Community Plan, which is T4–walk up residential. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
‘This is failure’: Construction noise frustrates neighbours on Victoria Rd. E

The city and business are trying to reduce noise, but residents want the project gone

Eric Schwenck was awarded the Train-to-Train Coach Goldie award by BC Alpine this year. He coached the Revelstoke Ski Club U14s last winter. (Katie Findlay photo)
Revelstoke Ski Club coach and volunteer recognized in the Goldie Awards

BC Alpine recognizes ski clubs, skiers and volunteers with awards every year

Moving the old jail from Third Street West to Carlson Street in May 1971. (Estelle Dickey photo; Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 9171)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for May 13

Local history as recorded by the newspaper of the day

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Barriere RCMP nabbed two suspects who were allegedly breaking into cabins in McLure. (File photo)
Thieves nabbed by Barriere Mounties during McLure break-ins

Police Service Dog Kody instrumental in making the arrest

(File photo)
Repeated cougar sighting on Okanagan Rail Trail

Plenty of bear sightings around the valley too

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

RCMP vest
Penticton beach brawl results in one arrest but no charges

People took to social media after a fight broke out at the fire pits at Okanagan Lake Saturday

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

A single motorcycle parked outside of the Kelowna Hells Angels clubhouse at 837 Ellis Street on July 9, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna Hells Angels prospect sentenced to 9 months in jail for aggravated assault

Colin Michael Bayley pleaded guilty to the downtown Kelowna assault earlier this month

Most Read