Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says true consensus on a new National Energy Strategy can't be reached by provinces "picking fights" with each other over contentious issues.
Relationships among the provinces will only be developed through mature "consensus-based dialogue," said Alberta's NDP premier, attending her first Council of the Federation meeting this week in St. John's, N.L.
"It's not about showboating," Notley said, "it's not about making fun political statements."
Her comments appeared to be aimed at Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, who suggested that Quebec is angling to hold veto power over future projects.
But in an interview with CBC, Notley said any such suggestion is "ridiculous and even a bit naive."
Deflecting the criticism, Wall said he isn't the only one who questions some proposed ideas included in the draft energy strategy.
"She might be suggesting others are being ridiculous, because others came to that same conclusion," he said.
National energy strategy
But none of the other premiers at the annual meeting have publicly criticized the draft document.
Wall said talk at the meeting about other energy sources has masked the true importance of oil and gas to the Canadian economy.
"Let's not be afraid to use the word 'oil,'" he said, adding that the draft strategy and discussion about it suggests some premiers have "almost become embarrassed by that asset."
Notley said growing energy infrastructure in Canada is not "incompatible" with protecting the environment.
Proponents say a national energy strategy would help cut red tape for energy project approvals, and promote the non-renewable resource sector.
But wording of the draft document has created sharp divides among the premiers, some of whom see the proposed strategy as a slap in the face to the oil and gas industry.
The premiers meeting wraps up Friday afternoon.