Kenney struck with hostile federal minister, then office scandal – .

Kenney struck with hostile federal minister, then office scandal – .

Two more bad days for Kenney as Albertans desperately need a respected, popular and effective leader of a united government

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Tuesday: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appoints Environment Minister with a long history of hostility to Alberta’s main industry.

Wednesday: News of a lawsuit brought by a woman who says she was fired for reporting allegations of sexual harassment and drunkenness among some of Prime Minister Jason Kenney’s ministers and officials.

Two more bad days for Kenney as Albertans desperately need a respected, popular and effective leader of a united government.

Unity is a fragile thing. One of Kenney’s own MPs, demoted Minister Leela Aheer, said on Twitter: “Ariella Kimmel is an incredible and brave woman. Premier Kenney – You Knew That! To resign! “

She added in an interview, “She’s a rock star. She was our link to the Prime Minister’s Office. We couldn’t do anything without it.

Now Kimmel is going to court. This news fell on the CBC on Wednesday.


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Kimmel’s lawyer, Kathryn Marshall, said: “Every political office should have a clear policy on sexual harassment and no political staff should ever be fired from their jobs for reporting sexual harassment, as has been done. done in this case. “

Kenney said there will be a review of government policy on harassment and reporting.

Kimmel’s trial alleges some ministers drank to the point of stupor in their offices. Sexist comments were made and she was fired for continuing to press for solutions, she claims.

Aheer was furious to learn of the trial.

When one person urged her on Twitter to cross the floor of the legislature, she said, “It’s always interesting to me that people always tell women that THEY should leave. No, actually. I won my job. PRIME MINISTER KENNY has to go. Not me. “


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This is a deportation offense for a government caucus member anywhere in Canada.

But Kenney is on a tightrope – two more layoffs and he will face four angry independent MPs who could form their own official caucus with full Legislature funding.

Then Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Leela Sharon Aheer leaves the Legislative Chamber after the presentation of the 2021 Alberta Provincial Budget to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta , in Edmonton on February 25, 2021. Photo de David Bloom/Postmedia

Next we come to the federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault.

He is a walking insult to Kenney, the Government of Alberta and the thousands of people who work in the energy industry.

He’s been a constant enemy with his public pranks – like Ralph Klein’s Rooftop Assault – but also through decades of staunch opposition to every oil and gas project or pipeline.

Guilbeault played a large role in Quebec’s almost universal hostility to Alberta’s pipelines and oil and gas.


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Coincidentally, Leela Aheer was one of the Government of Alberta’s few connections with Guilbeault.

When she was Minister of Heritage, he was federal minister in the same position.

She said he was ready to compromise on politics – somewhat. “He’s become a good friend and he’s a good human being. “

But Alberta “really has to do a lot of work” to make it understand how hard the industry is trying to reduce emissions and meet targets.

Is Guilbeault capable of any compromise?

In his first interview after the appointment, he said: “I will be happy to work with Alberta, with Premier Kenney, and all other provinces and territories, and municipalities and the business sector and civil society to making sure we do it wisely in a way that makes sense for people, for communities, for the good of our children, for the good of our environment.


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Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault speaks at a press conference in Ottawa, October 26, 2021. Photo de Lars Hagberg/AFP via Getty Images

But he does not accept that federal measures threaten jobs, he said in a subsequent interview with CBC’s Power and Politics show.

The most conversion to renewable energy “is in Alberta, this is the place in Canada where there is the most renewable development. . . the idea of ​​job losses is not supported by the facts in Alberta.

He added that Ottawa “would cap emissions from the oil and gas sector.”

And then – proudly – “we don’t do that with any other industry – not steel, not auto, forestry, cement.” We do it for oil and gas, because it represents 45% of emissions in Canada.

He was also asked if he supported Ottawa’s campaign to keep Line 5 through Michigan open.

Yes, he said. “Line 5 is a very different subject. It is an existing pipeline that provides all kinds of services to eastern Canada.

Guilbeault explained how the transition away from oil and gas will be very gradual – in Quebec. However, there will be a constant drop in consumption.

Kenney looked shocked when he first spoke about Guilbeault’s appointment. He should be. It marks the end of the federal compromise.

And shows, perhaps, the contempt Ottawa will bring to Kenney’s referendum demands for equalization.

Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald

Twitter: @DonBraid

Facebook: Don Braid Politics



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