Jason Kenney calls Ontario election result 'a great day for Albertans'
UCP leader says premier designate Doug Ford will be a strong ally in his fight against federal carbon tax
One day after Doug Ford was elected premier of Ontario, United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney called the result "a great day for Albertans," and said his party now has another ally in its fight against the federal carbon tax.
"It's going to be critically important for a future Alberta conservative government to have allies around the table when we deal with the federal government," he said. "And now we have, in Saskatchewan and Ontario — the largest province — premiers that are dedicated to joining us in fighting Justin Trudeau's carbon tax in court."
Kenney called Alberta's carbon tax "the largest tax hike in Alberta history and the biggest lie in Alberta political history."
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"They didn't mention it in the campaign that happened just a few months before," he said. Should Kenney be elected premier of Alberta in the next election, his first order of business will be to repeal the provincial carbon tax, he said in a video posted to social media.
"Then, as I've said from the beginning, if Justin Trudeau then tries to impose a federal Liberal carbon tax on us, we'll see him in court, and now, we'll be backed up not just by the province of Saskatchewan and Premier Scott Moe, but by ... Canada's biggest province and Premier Doug Ford."
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says Ontario still has a choice to make on climate change legislation despite Ford's promises to do away with carbon pricing.
"Do you want a pricing regime that's made in your own province ... or do you want a made-in-Ottawa system?" she asked Friday.
Ford has said getting rid of Ontario's cap-and-trade system to lower carbon emissions will be high on his government's agenda. That's likely to put him in direct conflict with the federal government's plan for a national carbon price.
Notley, whose government trumpets its $30-a-tonne carbon tax as a signal achievement, said Ford will soon learn the limits of provincial power.
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"The carbon-pricing framework that the federal government has put in place is within their jurisdiction and they have the authority to do that," she said. "The courts are going to determine that the federal government has the authority to do what it is doing."
Saskatchewan has said it will take Ottawa to court over whether the federal government has the right to bring in a national carbon price.
Notley downplayed suggestions that Ford's right-wing populist victory will have echoes in Alberta.
The next provincial election is scheduled for spring 2019 and polls have suggested Notley's New Democrats trail Kenney's United Conservative Party.
The Ontario ballot was a vote for change as much as anything else, Notley said.
"What you had in Ontario is a change election, just as we did in Alberta in 2015," she said, referring to the vote that ended the province's 44-year Tory dynasty. "Whether we have a change election in 2019 is a different issue."
With files from The Canadian Press