I can’t even wipe the smile off my face : Premiers Ford, Kenney bond at Queen s Park
|Toronto Star 03 May 2019 at 10:19|
Alberta’s rookie Premier Jason Kenney arrived at Queen’s Park early Friday for his first official meeting with Premier Doug Ford .
“I can’t even wipe the smile off my face,” a beaming Ford told Kenney as they posed for media cameras in his office.
“What a great ally,” the Ontarian said.
Ford, a Progressive Conservative who backed his United Conservative counterpart in the recent Alberta election that toppled New Democrat Rachel Notley, expressed delight at having another Tory at the premiers’ table.
“We’re fortunate to have such a great person leading the province,” he said.
Kenney, a backer of Ford’s $30-million fight against Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon-pricing measures that took effect on April 1, said he was “thrilled to be here at Queen’s Park ... on my fourth day as Alberta’s premier.”
“I want to thank Premier Ford and his government for being key players in the coalition fighting the carbon-tax cash grab,” the Albertan said.
“I appreciate everything you’re doing to show Ontario is open for business. I’ve got to tell you I’m in Toronto to tell Bay Street that Alberta’s open for business,” he said, referring to his Canadian Club luncheon speech at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
Ford said that’s “good for Alberta and good for Ontario and is good for the country.”
“A rising tide lifts all boats and we’ve got to work together,” agreed Kenney, adding Alberta welcomed Ontario’s support of oil and gas pipeline construction.
His visit came one day after a more tense stop on Parliament Hill with Trudeau.
In Ottawa on Thursday, Kenney warned Trudeau that Canada faces a national unity crisis if federal environmental policies undermine Alberta’s oil industry.
While in the capital, the Albertan had invoked former Quebec separatist premier René Lévesque and reminded the prime minister that the national energy policy inflicted on the West by his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, still resonates.
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“This will be enflaming a growing national unity problem in Alberta and will be a body blow to our country’s prosperity,” Kenney said Thursday after a Senate hearing where he thundered against federal plans to change major project assessments and ban oil tankers from the north coast of British Columbia.
“The most essential job of the federal government is to preserve national unity and national prosperity, and these policies are undermining both. Ultimately, we are prepared to use every tool in the legal and political tool box to defend our vital economic interests.”