Kicked in the teeth. Again and again.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the guy attached to the well-worn boot.
Alberta asks for a little reverse equalization in these tough years, after all the years where Alberta shipped a total of hundreds of billions of bucks east.
What happens? The province scores just over 20 cents on the dollar.
Alberta fights the carbon tax, and is still fighting, and Trudeau rolls out plans to send the carbon tax grab into the stratosphere.
Trudeau’s anti-oilpatch laws remain.
The prime minister really did mean what he said when he told a crowd in Ontario he wanted to phase out the oilsands.
Yes, Trudeau wants to build a new world and Alberta isn’t in it.
Then, a week before Christmas, Premier Jason Kenney issues a statement.
He gets a letter from a Trudeau government the premier has handled oh-so-diplomatically.
More bad news. Alberta will see an increase of only $217 million in federal transfer payments from Ottawa.
“It is more clear than ever that our message, asking for a fair share of the money our province has generated and sent to Ottawa, is being ignored,” reads the premier’s statement.Screwed again. The worst part. It is no surprise.
But Kenney is not breathing fire. The premier plays it cool.
“I’m not going to change Justin Trudeau’s mind about those policies.”
Kenney says he will keep building alliances with other provinces, fight the feds in the courts and there will be a provincial referendum on equalization next fall.
It is a vote where no one can show how it will make a big difference.
“I know this doesn’t fit in the frame of a Rick Bell column,” begins Kenney.You knew it wouldn’t take long to hear about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, a project dropped by private business interests because of all the politics and bought by the Canadian taxpayer.
“Whether we like it or not, on some of these things we simply have to work with the government of Canada. The goal is not simply fighting Justin Trudeau. The goal is jobs for Albertans. That’s the goal.
“On some of these things, we simply have to find a way forward with them.”
Now we apparently have to play nice with the Trudeau Liberal government to get the damn thing done, along with other deals.
“The most important issue for this province once we get past COVID is getting a pipeline built. They own the Trans Mountain project. We need to complete it,” says Kenney. ...Kenney is not happy about that.
“I feel incredibly frustrated and sometimes angry that the national government again and again seems to be targeting the biggest job-creating engine and province in the country.Exactly.
“I was elected because of that frustration.”
Read the full Bell article Here.