File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS                                UCP leader Jason Kenney said his party would present a “common sense” plan to control carbon emissions later in the election campaign.

File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS UCP leader Jason Kenney said his party would present a “common sense” plan to control carbon emissions later in the election campaign.

Humans are causing climate change, but those who disagree welcome in UCP: Kenney

CALGARY — The leader of Alberta’s United Conservatives says he believes humans are causing climate change and action is needed to tackle it, but those who disagree still have a place in the party.

“There’s a spectrum of views about this. This is not a party with some kind of rigid, ideological orthodoxy that everybody has to sign up to,” he said in Calgary on Thursday after laying out his plan to fight for the energy sector.

“I think broadly the United Conservatives accept the scientific consensus around anthropogenic climate change.”

Kenney said his party would present a “common sense” plan to control carbon emissions later in the election campaign.

He has said his first order of business, if elected premier April 16, will be to scrap the NDP’s carbon tax. The governing party misled voters by making no mention of it in its 2015 platform, he added.

Speaking at a senior’s centre in Lethbridge, NDP Leader Rachel Notley lashed back at that contention. She said her party signalled all along that serious climate action was in the offing and the broad-based tax was one of an expert panel’s recommendations months later.

“This plan that we came up with was the right balance,” she said.

Kenney, meanwhile, accused Notley of selling Alberta out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by imposing a carbon tax, but getting no coastal pipelines in exchange.

Kenney said he would sue Ottawa if its overhaul to environmental reviews becomes law, block energy shipments to provinces that stand in the way of development and team up with other oil and gas-friendly provincial governments.

A UCP government would also call a referendum on equalization if what he dubs the “no more pipelines” law hasn’t been mothballed, and if there is still no progress on pipelines.

The matter would be put to voters on Oct. 18, 2021, — the same date as the next municipal elections in Alberta, he said.

The federal equalization program is meant to even out fiscal disparities between so called “have” and “have-not” provinces. Despite its economic doldrums, Alberta remains a “have” province.

Kenney said Albertans pride themselves of being able to share their wealth.

“What we can no longer tolerate is governments and politicians in other parts of the country benefiting from Albertans’ hard work and our resources while doing everything they can to block those resources.”

Notley said earlier in the day that her government has fought from Day 1 to get pipelines like the Trans Mountain expansion and that the Trudeau government bought the project, saving it from likely death, at her urging.

Also Thursday, the NDP released a 10-minute video showing decades-old footage of Kenney boasting about a campaign to overturn a law extending hospital visitation rights to gay couples during the 1980s AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. The video also showed recent interviews with people touched by the crisis reacting to Kenney.

When asked if he had a message for LGBTQ Albertans today, Kenney told reporters that under a UCP government everyone will be accepted.

“It’s true that back when these were matters of political contention, that I supported the traditional definition of marriage, as did virtually every political party and political leader in every country in the democratic West,” he said.

“It’s also true that … the consensus on that question has changed dramatically and I accept that.”

Also Thursday, Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel said he would double the number of educational assistants in schools. Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan said he would improve child welfare, education and justice for Indigenous people.

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Jason Kenney

Just Posted

Patrons practice on a putting green as the Whitestone Bridge looms in the distance at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx borough of New York on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Former President Donald Trump has a rich history of fighting back when he’s down and making others pay, and that’s exactly how he intends to deal with New York City over its plans to fire his company from running the city golf course. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Dump Trump? Kicking him off NYC golf course may not be easy

Trump Organization has been reeling after the Capitol riots

A photo illustration made December 14, 2012 in Montreal shows a computer in chains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Irish health system says it’s targeted in ransomware attack

Health care systems have been a target before

A woman wearing a mask talks on her phone near an exhibition depicting a rover in Mars in Beijing on Friday, May 14, 2021. China says its Mars probe and accompanying rover are to land on the red planet sometime between early Saturday morning and Wednesday Beijing time. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
China Mars rover to land between Saturday and Wednesday

Only the United States has successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars

Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Weary Palestinians are somberly marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as Hamas and Israel traded more rockets and airstrikes and Jewish-Arab violence raged across Israel. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinians flee as Israeli artillery pounds northern Gaza

Israel called up 9,000 reservists as fighting intensifies

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Team Canada’s head coach Troy Ryan talks with players before the start of the of the Rivalry Series at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, February 3, 2020. Ryan of Spryfield, N.S., has been named head coach of Canada’s women’s hockey team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Troy Ryan to coach Canadian women’s hockey team in 2022 Winter Olympics

Ryan was Canada’s assistant coach from 2016 to 2019

FILE- In this April 19, 2021, file photo, people wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait to test for COVID-19 at a hospital in Hyderabad, India. Misinformation about the coronavirus is surging in India as the death toll from COVID-19 rises. Fueled by anguish, distrust and political polarization, the claims are further compounding India’s crisis. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A, File)
Misinformation surges amid India’s COVID-19 calamity

Distrust of Western vaccines and health care also driving misinformation

FILE - In this Friday March 6, 2020, file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry visits the Silverstone Circuit, in Towcester, England. In an episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast broadcast Thursday, May 13, 2021, Prince Harry compared his royal experience to being on “The Truman Show” and “living in a zoo.” (Peter Nicholls/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Prince Harry thought about quitting royal life in his 20s

Feared his family would have to deal with the same spotlight that was on his late mother

Mental health: Gossiping, backbiting and forming factions is unhealthy

We all know of dysfunctional organizations, which can be as troublesome as… Continue reading

Family practice physician Christina Tuomi, D.O., (right) gets Homer's first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from Emergency Department nurse Steve Hughes (left) on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. Tuomi has been the hospital's medical lead throughout the pandemic. (Photo courtesy Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
Alberta physicians: Vaccines are our path forward

As the AMA representatives for Alberta’s family physicians, we were immensely relieved… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Nils Hoglander, right, is checked by Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during third-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday, May 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, right, drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors center Khem Birch, left, and guard Jalen Harris during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
LaVine, Markkanen lead Bulls past Raptors, 114-102

LaVine, Markkanen lead Bulls past Raptors, 114-102

Most Read