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Provincial Premiers meeting in Toronto


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With national unity under stress, premiers back a budget fix to help oil-rich provinces



Beyond the stabilization fix, the premiers have also agreed to ask Ottawa to bolster the country's economic competitiveness by "improving" Bill C-69, the Liberal government's controversial overhaul of the environmental assessment act. The premiers want Ottawa to exempt some projects that fall under provincial jurisdiction — most importantly in-situ oilsands projects in Alberta — from a mandatory federal review.

The federal Liberal government has said it would consider exempting new oilsands developments if Kenney maintains a cap on emissions from the sector.

The premiers said Canada must continue to develop its natural resources in a "responsible manner and ensure access to markets for Canada's products" — a thinly-veiled reference to pipeline projects that will carry Canada's oil and gas to markets abroad.

While B.C. Premier John Horgan and Legault have long opposed some pipeline developments, the two said Monday that the meeting was not focused on divisive issues.

Horgan said B.C. would continue to pursue legal action against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which has been approved twice by the federal Liberal government and is now owned by a federal Crown corporation. Legault has said he'd oppose a project like the now-defunct Energy East, which would have carried diluted bitumen from the West through Quebec to Saint


On the economic front, the premiers also demanded Ottawa tackle protectionist measures in the U.S., so-called "Buy America" provisions that prioritize U.S. companies for major infrastructure projects to the detriment of Canadian businesses, but also the ongoing softwood lumber dispute that has hurt provinces like B.C. and New Brunswick among others.



Kenney gains 'leverage in the federation' at premiers meeting

The premiers’ unanimous backing of a “repeal or complete rewrite” of C-69, a bill expanding the regulatory process around large infrastructure projects such as pipelines, sets Alberta up for a meeting with newly-appointed Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland next week.


Edited by Mackcanuck
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