Kenney's election win prompts reactions from B.C., Quebec, Ontario leaders

Although Jason Kenney appealed in French to Quebec in his victory speech to help Alberta get its oil to market, Quebec Premier François Legault isn't playing.

Election night speech included comments en français, aimed at Quebec

From left, Quebec Premier François Legault, Alberta premier-designate Jason Kenney and B.C. Premier John Horgan. (CBC, Reuters, CBC)

Jason Kenney's election win has politicians across Canada reacting.

In his victory speech, Kenney appealed in French to Quebec to help Alberta get its oil to market, but Quebec Premier François Legault isn't playing.

Legault congratulated Kenney on Wednesday for his election win. But in the next breath, he told reporters in Quebec City his province is still not interested in a cross-country pipeline that could get oil from Alberta to ports on the East Coast.

"There is no social acceptability for a new oil pipeline in Quebec," said Legault, a day after Kenney's United Conservatives won a decisive majority of seats in the Alberta Legislature.

"It's important to remember that more than half of the oil we get in Quebec is coming from [the] west via the Enbridge pipeline."

He did express interest in a new pipeline to help get Alberta natural gas to Quebec City.

Kenney calls Legault's comments 'unfortunate'

Kenney said, speaking to media in Edmonton Wednesday, that Legault's comments were "unfortunate."

"We don't think it's reasonable for other provinces like Quebec to take our equalization money while opposing pipeline projects that can help us to pay the bills within the federation," he said.

"Having said that, I've always been clear that I want to start on a positive footing with Premier Legault and the government of Quebec …I am hopeful that we can find a way to work together."

"No social acceptability" for a pipeline, Legault tells Kenney

5 years ago
Duration 0:51
"No social acceptability" for a pipeline, Legault tells Kenney

TransCanada abandoned its Energy East pipeline project in 2017 following protests from Quebec and changes to federal environmental assessment rules.

Kenney said in his election night speech that new pipelines are needed to help ensure the prosperity of all Canadians, including people in Quebec.

He said if other provinces wish to benefit from Alberta's prosperity, "they must be partners with us in developing those resources and getting them to international markets."

Kenney generated headlines during the provincial election campaign by vowing to implement Bill 12, Alberta's so-called turn-off-the-taps legislation, within hours of being sworn in as premier.

He said he would ensure Vancouver would be carbon-free in 2020 as a result of limiting oil shipments to B.C's Lower Mainland as a response to that province's government blocking the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

B.C. Premier John Horgan said Wednesday he had a "cordial discussion" with Kenney by phone and congratulated him on his win.

"We had a positive conversation," he said. "My responsibility is to deal with whoever the people of any province put in place … I need to work with whoever wants to work with me."

Horgan said he looks forward to working together in the interests of both provinces and will see Kenney at the first ministers conference in the coming months. 

Kenney said Wednesday he and Horgan have agreed to have a longer, in-person discussion on pipelines.

"I think Premier Horgan knows very well we are serious about defending our vital economic interests," Kenney said.

Kenney said his government will proclaim into law the so-called turn-off-the-taps legislation against B.C. on April 30.

A standing ovation in Ontario

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

Ford stood in the Ontario 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."

With files from Sarah Rieger, The Canadian Press