WEYBURN, Sask. — Organizers put Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe on a love seat as the two addressed delegates at an oil and gas trade show in Weyburn, south of Regina, Wednesday afternoon.
The furniture fit the mood as the pair palled around on Kenney’s first official trip to meet with his eastern neighbour since winning the Alberta election in April.
The two conservative premiers yucked it up over their mutual disdain for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a discussion that was more standup than stately at points.
“We need trade, we need transportation ability and we need a fair tax and regulatory environment — we need the three Ts,” Moe told the crowd while talking about his plans to rebuild Saskatchewan’s oil industry.
“I won’t comment on the fourth T that we most certainly don’t need here. You can likely guess what that might be,” he continued as the crowd started to laugh.
“What could you possibly be referring too?” Kenney chimed in, tongue planted firmly in cheek.
Both also heralded their support for pipelines and said they are confident the federal government will approve the stalled construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta to the B.C. coast by the June 18 deadline.
It’s an issue of national unity, they agreed.
“Is this a national unity crisis? I would put two comments to that,” Moe said.
“Yes it is and I fully believe that us as a nation are going to put on our big boy pants and we are going to have a proper conversation to get through it.”
Kenney also got the crowd worked up with one of his oft-repeated refrains about his feelings on Canada’s ethical oil.
“I argue it is the right thing to do morally. The world needs more Canadian energy,” Kenney said as delegates roared their approval.
Moe waited for the applause to die.
“Ditto,” he said, with the timing of a showman.
The two signed a memorandum of understanding to harmonize regulations governing the movement of oil and gas rigs in the two provinces. The goal is to make it easier for rigs to be moved from job site to job site in both provinces without getting bogged down by two sets of rules.
They also took questions from reporters, where Kenney said he was open to following Saskatchewan’s lead in developing a carbon capture and storage facility to revive the coal industry in Alberta.