May 26, 2021
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney went head-to-head with Independent MLA Drew Barnes in question period Wednesday, just 13 days after the Cypress-Medicine Hat representative was kicked out of the UCP caucus.
Kenney ended the tiff by accusing Barnes of being interested only in separating.
Barnes started by questioning Kenney on what he’s done to try and press the need for changes to things like Equalization in a battle with Ottawa.
Barnes said the UCP was elected after Kenney’s promises to fight Ottawa for changes to Equalization, fiscal stabilization, as well as the no more pipelines and no tankers bills.
“Would the man who drove thousand of miles in his blue Dodge support what’s going on in the province right now? Or will he start to stand up for Alberta families?” Barnes asked Kenney.
“This government kept its promise to sue the federal government over the constitutionality of Bill C-69, it’s before the Alberta appeal court. We kept our commitment to support a First Nation in suing the federal government over Bill C-48. We kept our commitment to scrap the carbon tax, we kept our commitment to sue the federal government over the carbon tax, we kept our promise to build a multi-province coalition on that, we won a commitment to get the cap lifted on fiscal stabilization, and this fall we keep our commitment to hold a referendum on Equalization,” Kenney responded.
Barnes told the Legislature the failure of Alberta to get a fair deal has hurt workers and families and cost billions of dollars in losses in canceled mega-projects. He said the Alberta response to the Keystone pipeline situation wasn’t good enough.
“Why do you continue to make promises without action?” Barnes asked Kenney.
“We bought Keystone,” replied Kenney. The government invested $1.5 billion in the now-canceled project. Kenney said Barnes was opposed to the government investment which may have kept the project alive at that moment.
Barnes then pointed out recent polls showing if an election was held today, only one in four Albertans would vote for Kenney. Barnes noted the UCP was being beaten in fundraising by the NDP.