Jason Kenney will meet Justin Trudeau next week
EDMONTON – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Alberta counterpart Jason Kenney will soon meet for the first time in person since the federal election.
M . Kenney says he will be in Ottawa on Monday and Tuesday, along with eight of his ministers and other senior officials, to discuss issues ranging from pipeline construction to equalization.
This Alberta delegation intends to argue that the province has been “a huge contributor to Canada’s jobs and prosperity, social programs and social progress,” it is said.
Kenney said he will meet Monday with the leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, Jagmeet Singh, and the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Andrew Scheer. His meeting with Justin Trudeau is scheduled for Tuesday, in the afternoon.
He wants to seize the opportunity to share with him a unanimous resolution at the recent provincial and territorial leaders’ conference to reform the fiscal stabilization program. The fund helps provinces deal with declining revenues that are not derived from natural resources, but Alberta says it is at a disadvantage because of caps on population size. Mr. Kenney says he sees an “openness” from the federal government to discuss the changes being sought.
The premier also wants to pressure Ottawa to set a date for completion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. It also intends to reiterate its concerns over the federal ban on tankers on the north coast of British Columbia and the approval criteria for mega-energy projects.
His tete-a-tete with Justin Trudeau will set a new milestone in what is a complex and sometimes very tense relationship between the two men, once opponents in the House of Commons.
After leaving federal politics and becoming head of the United Conservative Party of Alberta, Jason Kenney portrayed Justin Trudeau as an amateur. He even made it a target in his own election campaign last spring, introducing outgoing Premier Rachel Notley as Mr. Trudeau’s lackey and his alleged efforts to hurt the oil industry. .
Then, in federal elections, Jason Kenney supported federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, claiming that a second Liberal term would be catastrophic for the Alberta economy.
Justin Trudeau was finally re-elected on October 21, leading a minority government, however, and the Liberals were stricken from the map in Alberta and Saskatchewan. He has since reached out to both provinces, including his Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to discuss with Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe last week.