Federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre says he backs Alberta Premier Danielle Smith over her concerns about what she’s called Ottawa’s anti-oil-and-gas agenda.
Poilievre told reporters Wednesday in Calgary that he discussed health care, public safety and defending Canada’s oil sector when he met recently with his Alberta Conservative counterpart in Ottawa.
Smith has voiced her opposition over pending federal legislation, dubbed “just transition,” which is billed as helping Canadian workers adapt to the global move toward renewable energy.
Smith has accused the federal Liberal government of imposing discriminatory policies and legislation on non-renewable resource development that she says is frustrating Alberta’s energy sector.
In December, her United Conservative Party government passed a sovereignty act that grants Alberta the power to direct its agencies to flout federal laws and initiatives deemed harmful to provincial interests. However, Smith has not committed to using the province’s act to rebut the federal “just transition” legislation.
Poilievre said Wednesday that the federal government’s agenda would make Canada dependent on foreign, polluting dictatorships and allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to continue to dominate the European energy market to fund his war against Ukraine.
“I do share Alberta’s concern about (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau’s anti-energy and anti-resource agenda,” Poilievre said. “He has said he wants to phase out our oilsands. He says southern Ontario should move away from manufacturing. He has attacked our mining sector.
“Every time Justin Trudeau attacks our energy sector, a big smile appears on the face of Vladimir Putin.’”