Premier Smith calls Trudeau’s climate timeline “ridiculous” and unsafe

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Alberta will carve out its own path towards energy security if the Alberta-Ottawa working group fails to agree on a net-zero electricity timeline. 

Smith’s United Conservative Party (UCP) released a series of statements addressing the Trudeau Government’s 2035 net-zero timeline, with one not-so-subtle section titled “A ridiculous approach to emergencies.”

The federal government’s Clean Electricity Regulations required provinces to comply with a 2035 net-zero electricity timeline for the sake of climate change, but the UCP statement argues that their timeline will risk Albertans’ safety. 

“These regulations are unrealistic, ineffective and could compromise grid reliability to an unacceptable degree, resulting in the very real risk that Albertans will not have access to an essential service, like power, when they need it,” the statement read.

It further suggested that Albertans know what’s best for their own well-being, “not politicians in Ottawa.”

Supreme Court decision

Last month, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled against one of Justin Trudeau’s keystone environmental laws, Bill C-69, known as the Impact Assessment Act. 

Federal climate change minister Steven Guilbeault later said the decision doesn’t strike down his environmental law. Instead, he said he’d “tighten” it in response to the Supreme Court “opinion.” 

Working group in progress

In the meantime, the Trudeau Liberals and UCP have established a Alberta-Ottawa working group that continues to discuss an agreeable timeline, with experts from each side trying to find common ground.

The UCP statement indicated they are hopeful Ottawa’s experts come to see things that are aligned with Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan before adding, “If this alignment is not achieved, Alberta will chart its own path to protect its citizens and economy by ensuring the province has additional reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity brought onto the power grid.” 

The feds are receiving provincial pushback on a number of their climate related issues. On Friday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland insinuated that Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe could be jailed if he disobeys the federal carbon tax. 

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