Quebec Premier Jean Charest

Quebec, Alberta talk energy partnership

Premier Jean Charest says Canada doesn’t need the federal government to make a national energy strategy happen.

QUEBEC — Premier Jean Charest says Canada doesn’t need the federal government to make a national energy strategy happen.

And he said dissatisfaction with Ottawa’s recent handling of health-care transfer payments will be on the agenda at the Council of the Federation meeting in Victoria on Jan. 16-17.

The one-two punch at the federal government was delivered at a news conference following a meeting with Alberta Premier Alison Redford at the provincial legislature on Wednesday.

Both Charest and Redford said they don’t agree with the way the federal government has handled the health-care transfers and both insisted they must be equitable for all provinces.

Charest said after the meeting that provinces are already co-operating with each other on energy.

“We don’t need the federal government to make that happen,” Charest said. “We have demonstrated in our acts, not just our words. We have demonstrated that we are well able to do that.

“The basic condition for that to happen and to be successful is that the provinces be able to decide in their areas of jurisdiction and that’s where the starting point is. If there’s going to be a federal role it should be on our invitation, not them intervening.”

Redford has promoted an energy strategy with provinces working together to develop resources and bring them to new markets.

Redford’s plan, which she refers to as a Canadian energy strategy, would include collaboration on environmental standards and new infrastructure.

“I think we’re at a point where . . . what I’m asking provinces to do is to decide if we would like to take this further and if so what that looks like,” she said.

Charest pointed out that when Quebec brought in its new energy strategy in 2006, two main priorities were developing capacity and tapping new markets.

Those markets included the rest of Canada and the U.S. Since then, he said, Quebec has concluded an agreement with Ontario and built a 1,200-megawatt interconnection line into that province.

Redford explained her energy plan, speaking mainly in French during a question-and-answer session with Quebec City parliamentary reporters.

On health care, the Alberta premier said her province had been quite vocal on the issue in the past few years. The province has argued it has been short-changed and wants a better deal with the federal government.

“We believe it is important for all Canadians to be treated equally per capita,” she said. “We don’t believe that, in order to achieve that, any particular province needs to lose out.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Order in: Red Deer residents chose Uber, Skip the Dishes during deep freeze

Red Deer’s public transit service saw decline in usage during January’s cold snap

New snow clearing triggers in effect in Red Deer

Residents encouraged to sign up for alerts

Requests for Lending Cupboard equipment grows

Winter Luncheon fundraisier to be held Jan. 27

Jason Kenney government receives ‘B-’ for cutting red tape: Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses

Alberta government receives highest grade on CFIB’s red tape report card

Tax revolt? Taxes energy companies owe Alberta municipalities more than double

The amount of unpaid property taxes that oil and gas companies owe… Continue reading

WATCH: Canadian kid shovelling snow video goes viral

Rory might just be Canada’s most popular toddler right now, thanks to… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Lineups outside grocery stores in St. John’s as state of emergency hits Day 5

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Residents of St. John’s, N.L., were lining up… Continue reading

Prison watchdog decries ‘Indigenization’ of Canada’s correctional system

OTTAWA — Canada’s prison ombudsman says disturbing and entrenched imbalances mean the… Continue reading

Parks Canada says no to gondola proposed from Banff townsite to Mount Norquay

BANFF, Alta. — Parks Canada has rejected a proposed gondola to take… Continue reading

CFL reaches co-operative partnership agreement with Brazilian federation

TORONTO — Add Brazil to the CFL 2.0 initiative. The league announced… Continue reading

David Marsden: Warm tales about the cold

The recent deep freeze has rocked all of us. Every Red Deer… Continue reading

Richard T. Lee makes British Open, joining fellow Canadians Conners and Hadwin

SINGAPORE — Toronto’s Richard T. Lee is the third Canadian to qualify… Continue reading

Film probes radical black-Latino-poor white 1960s alliance

Civil rights activists were still mourning the 1968 assassinations of Rev. Martin… Continue reading

Most Read