OTTAWA — Premier Alison Redford found herself Thursday embroiled in war of words with the federal NDP as she joined her federal Conservative counterparts slamming official Opposition MPs for travelling to Washington to speak to U.S. lawmakers against the Keystone XL pipeline.
In Ottawa, Redford made the comments the same day she sat down with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in their first official meeting to discuss federal-provincial relations.
The two Calgary politicians, who’ve known each other for almost three decades, spoke about issues such as health-care funding, immigration and a new Canadian energy strategy.
The premier, who arrived back in Alberta late Thursday night, had just returned from her own mission to New York and Washington earlier this week to promote Alberta and the province’s energy interests in the United States.
While the contentious issue of the proposed Keystone oil pipeline came up when she met with U.S. lawmakers, Redford said she did not actively lobby regarding it — unlike federal NDP environment critic Megan Leslie and natural resources critic Claude Gravelle.
“It is not appropriate for us to be providing advice to American decision-makers in that context and to be political activists,” Redford said about the NDP trip this week. “So I am not at all supportive of that and I’m disappointed about it.”
Redford maintained her role is clearly different from that of a federal MP, saying a provincial premier “has a certain set of economic interests, social interests and environmental interests.”
“Whereas what we see going on right now is members of Parliament who certainly represent their constituencies, but that’s the extent of their representation in terms of the Canadian perspective on this issue.”How dare you Premier Redford? How dare you?
Linda Duncan, the lone NDP member of Parliament from Alberta, said she was stunned the premier would say that elected officials travelling to Washington is inappropriate.
“I find that absolutely reprehensible,” Duncan said. “How dare they suggest that we don’t have a right to interact with officials from other trading nations. Absolutely appalling.”
Arguing that Canadians who have science on their side - both the science of climate and the science of economics - don't have the right to have their point of view represented while making an insultingly specious and lamely hypocritical argument that the rules are somehow different for her is so contemptuously despicable its frankly breathtaking.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.