Montreal

Quebec doesn't want another pipeline, François Legault tells Jason Kenney

In his victory speech, Jason Kenney appealed to Quebec for help in getting more oil to market

Posted: April 17, 2019
Last Updated: April 17, 2019

Jason Kenney's United Conservative Party won a majority in Tuesday's election. He is expected to speak with Quebec Premier François Legault later today. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Quebec Premier François Legault says there's no appetite for a new pipeline in the province, despite an appeal from Alberta's premier-designate.

In his victory speech on Tuesday, Jason Kenney called on Legault, in French, to help Alberta get its oil to market. 

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Legault praised Kenney Wednesday for his win and referred to his use of French an "elegant gesture." But he reiterated his government's opposition to a cross-Canada pipeline that would have to be built through Quebec in order to carry Alberta oil to ports in eastern Canada. 

"There's no social acceptability for an additional oil pipeline," Legault told reporters, though he added his government does support a pipeline that would transport natural gas from Alberta to Quebec.

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"No social acceptability" for a pipeline, Legault tells Kenney  0:51

Legault has previously criticized Alberta's oil industry for producing "dirty" energy. 

TransCanada abandoned a cross-Canada pipeline project, known as Energy East, in 2017. The company's decision followed protests in Quebec and changes to the national environmental assessment process.

Quebec targeted during campaign

Kenney, whose United Conservative Party won over the incumbent NDP, repeatedly attacked Quebec during the campaign over equalization and its opposition to new pipelines.

On Tuesday, he praised Legault for being "focused on economic growth" and being "committed to ending Quebec's dependence on equalization."

But he also stressed the need for Quebec to support pipeline projects.

"We need pipelines for the prosperity of all Canadians, including Quebecers," Kenney said in his speech Tuesday night.

"The question is simple: Do Quebecers want to fuel their economy with ethically produced Canadian energy or with the oil imported from the United States and the OPEC dictatorships.

To ask the question is to answer it."

Quebec Premier François Legault has been critical of Alberta oil in the past. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

He also said that if Quebecers and other provinces "want to benefit from massive transfers developed by the hard work and resources of Albertans, then they must be partners with us in developing those resources and getting them to international markets."

After speaking by phone Wednesday afternoon, Legault said on Twitter that he and the premier-designate spoke about the economy and natural gas and agreed to meet in the coming months.

In Ontario, meanwhile, Conservative Premier Doug Ford welcomed Kenney's opposition to the federal carbon tax.

Ford stood in the legislature Wednesday to congratulate Kenney, with the rest of the Tory caucus rising for a standing ovation.

"We see just a blue wave going across this country from west to east," Ford said. "We're building an anti-carbon tax alliance like this country has never seen."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Benjamin Shingler
Journalist

Benjamin Shingler covers politics, immigration and social issues for CBC Montreal. Follow him on Twitter @benshingler.

With files from The Canadian Press