Redford stresses need for national energy strategy
Alberta Premier Alison Redford reiterated her call for Canada's provinces to work together on a national energy strategy during a visit to Ottawa on Thursday.
A day after pushing a cross-canada strategy to a crowd of business leaders in Toronto, Redford said after meeting Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Parliament Hill that it's important to think about energy in natural resources with a view to what is going on across the country.
"We as provincial leaders, whether we're from Alberta or Ontario or Quebec, need to be stakeholders and players in what a Canadian energy strategy looks like," Redford said. "A Canadian energy strategy isn't about just exploiting resources and marketing them. It's about ensuring we can talk about the use of energy in an integrated fashion and transitioning in an environmentally sustainable way to a more integrated set of sources."
Redford said she talks specifically about a "Canadian" energy strategy to avoid using the words "national" and "program," which continues to rankle Albertans who saw energy prices drop under a Trudeau plan in the early 1980s.
"I haven't been talking about a national energy strategy. I've been talking about a Canadian energy strategy," she said. "And quite frankly one of the reasons for that is that I'm from Alberta and when you put those words together there certainly is a connotation."
Redford also said she wants the province to continue to receive per capita health and social transfers as they look to health-care negotiations with the federal government in 2014.
"We're not looking for exceptional treatment, we're looking for equal treatment and we will maintain the position that we should receive per capita funding," she said, although she admits some premiers won't support that.
"We have a federation where everyone makes contributions to the federation and expects citizens to be treated equally. We will continue to push that agenda."