Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has announced she will invoke the Sovereignty Act in a bid to protect Alberta’s energy security from the Trudeau Government’s regulations.
In a statement, the United Conservative Party (UCP) said they never wanted to invoke the Sovereignty Act — a bill they proposed and passed in December 2022 — but said it’s needed to protect Albertans from the Trudeau Government’s Clean Electricity Regulations (CERs).
“We have tried to work with Ottawa to align their emissions-reduction efforts with our provincial plan to achieve a carbon-neutral power grid by 2050. Unfortunately, after months of meetings, they continue to reject this opportunity and remain committed to an absurdly unrealistic and unattainable goal of a net-zero power grid by 2035,” the statement reads.
Government house leader Joseph Schow gave oral notice of the Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act resolution, which will be debated on Tuesday, before inevitably getting passed given the UCP has a majority government.
The resolution, as read by Schow, calls for provincial authorities to refrain from enforcing the feds’ electricity regulations, “to the extent legally permissible.”
Schow also indicated the UCP will launch a legal challenge against the Trudeau Government in Alberta courts. The UCP maintains that the Canadian Constitution Act of 1867 cedes jurisdiction to provinces when it comes to managing sites for generation and production of electric energy.
This all comes after Smith hinted on Saturday that she was going to invoke the Sovereignty Act. During her weekly radio appearance, Smith said the Trudeau Government’s CERs are risky because they’re unachievable.
“We have to have a reliable grid,” she said. “We have to have an affordable grid, and we’re going to make sure that we defend our constitutional jurisdiction to do that.”
UCP going socialist?
In a socialist plot-twist, the UCP’s resolution also calls for studying the benefits of a provincial crown corporation being formed “for the purpose of bringing and maintaining more reliable and affordable electricity onto the grid in the event that private generators find it too risky to do so under the CERs.”
Alberta-Ottawa working group fail
The invocation of the act comes three weeks after 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.
The Trudeau Liberals and UCP established an Alberta-Ottawa working group in September to try and find an agreeable timeline for a net-zero electricity grid, between the feds’ proposed 2035 and the UCP’s 2050 target.
Supreme Court Rules Trudeau’s C-69 Illegal, Alberta Victorious
Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada found that Bill C-69, known as the Impact Assessment Act, is largely unconstitutional, dealing a blow to federal efforts to regulate Alberta’s oil and gas projects.
But federal Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault said the decision doesn’t strike down his environmental law. Instead, he said he’d “tighten” it in response to the ruling.
Then on November 16, the Federal Court overturned one of Guilbeault’s favourite cabinet orders, the single-use plastics ban, potentially paving the way for grocery stores and fast-food restaurants to revert back to plastic straws and grocery bags.
The Trudeau Liberals have since stated they intend to appeal the court decision. If they lose their appeal, there would be legal precedent to challenge the plastics ban (Bill S-5).