Canada Kenney says relations with Trudeau ‘professional,’ but climate minister is ‘extremist’

19:19  23 january  2022
19:19  23 january  2022 Source:   globalnews.ca

Kenney relieves justice minister of duties, orders investigation into police call

  Kenney relieves justice minister of duties, orders investigation into police call EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has relieved Justice Minister Kaycee Madu of his duties after it came to light that Madu called Edmonton’s police chief about a traffic ticket. Kenney says while all parties agree Madu never asked Chief Dale McFee to cancel the ticket last March, there’s a bigger issue at play. “It's essential the independent administration of justice is maintained,” Kenney said in an announcement on Twitter late Monday. “That's why I will appoint a respected independent investigator to review the relevant facts and to determine whether there was interference in the administration of justice in this case.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault is an "extremist," but maintains his relationship with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is "professional."

In an interview with The West Block's Mercedes Stephenson, Kenney reiterated concerns with the federal government's policies on protecting the environment: specifically, a ban on tanker traffic on B.C's north coast and major changes to the structure of how the impacts of oil and gas projects get assessed.

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Suspended Alberta justice minister says he wasn't distracted driving, phone in pocket

  Suspended Alberta justice minister says he wasn't distracted driving, phone in pocket EDMONTON — Kaycee Madu says he understands why Alberta Premier Jason Kenney relieved him as justice minister after Madu phoned Edmonton’s police chief about a traffic ticket. Madu says he did not phone Edmonton police Chief Dale McFee to get the $300 distracted driving ticket cancelled, but understands why people could have concerns about the call. “With hindsight now I can see how that may be perceived,” Madu wrote in a series of tweets late Tuesday. “There is a saying that perception is everything in politics and I regret raising the issue at all with Chief McFee. “I paid the ticket fully and promptly.

He said while he will keep fighting back against the policies, he can also work with Trudeau on others.

"I would say it's professional," Kenney said when asked to describe his relationship with Trudeau.

"We have a bunch of issues where we are strongly at odds. Everybody knows that. And there are some issues where we've been able to work together."

His assessment of Trudeau's environment minister, former Equiterre activist Steven Guilbeault, was blunt.

Kenney called him an "environmental extremist," and said his appointment to the role remains "very concerning" to Albertans.

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In particular, the question of how best to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 is one that continues to be a challenging prospect.

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Trudeau has doubled down repeatedly on that commitment, and Alberta's economy is still struggling amid years of ongoing volatility to the price of oil and the world weighs similar questions about transitioning to greener technology and renewable energies.

Kenney argued the answer is not about turning off Alberta oil and gas, but about developing better emission reduction technologies.

"We hope the federal government, instead of just hammering the biggest job-creating industry in the country, works with us to develop, adopt technologies like expanding carbon capture utilization and storage that can help those energy companies achieve their net-zero goals," he said.

Video: COP26: balancing the environment and the economy in Alberta

Alberta is facing a continued steep budget shortfall as oil price profits remain elusive.

But Kenney, who is expected to roll out a budget in the coming weeks, ruled out any additional taxes as a solution to fill provincial coffers.

Rex Murphy: Alberta needs to learn to say 'no' to the Trudeau Liberals

  Rex Murphy: Alberta needs to learn to say 'no' to the Trudeau Liberals If a national government determines that as its preferred policy it will shut down the central industry of a particular province, and therefore inevitably the various industries and jobs related to the central one, does it not have a duty to engage in the most serious and detailed negotiations with that province? For example, were the federal government to decide to shut down Quebec’s aerospace industry, would this not inevitably involve detailed and sensitive negotiations with the government of Quebec? Or were it to determine to transition Ontario’s auto industry, so primary a contributor to Canada’s carbon emissions, to renewables-based personal transportation

"The answer is no," he said.

"There will be some continued work to do on fiscal restraint without any deep, deep cuts, and there's absolutely no way we're looking at tax increases."

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Keeping provincial taxes low would hurt efforts to pitch investors and businesses to come open up in Alberta, Kenney said, adding he believes the solution is to "focus on economic growth and job creation."

Kenney won the premiership in 2019 but is already facing pressure over his handling of the province's economic challenges, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the latter half of 2021, a number of UCP constituency associations began pushing for an early party review and a vote on Kenney's leadership.

In September, the party's president told the associations the UCP would schedule its annual general meeting, including a leadership review vote, for spring 2022.

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Kenney leadership to come under microscope in April as UCP sets one-day confidence vote

Kenney's next leadership review was previously not expected to occur until the end of 2022.

The party has since said it will hold a confidence vote on Kenney's leadership on April 9 in Red Deer.

If Kenney receives less than 50 per cent of the vote, he will no longer be party leader.

— with files from Global's Phil Heidenreich.

Trudeau isolating after COVID-19 exposure, says rapid test was negative .
There have been a number of cases of COVID-19 among political staffers, MPs and ministers over the past month as the highly contagious Omicron variant continues to spread. Trudeau had also said last month he was self-monitoring for potential symptoms after staff and members of his security detail tested positive. The Ontario government updated its guidance for isolation in the cases where a fully vaccinated person is exposed to COVID-19 late last month. According to the provincial guidance, a fully vaccinated person is advised to isolate for five days in cases where they are a "household contact" of a confirmed case.

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