Trudeau’s choice for Environment Minister draws complaints from Kenney and Notley – .

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Trudeau’s choice for Environment Minister draws complaints from Kenney and Notley – .


EDMONTON –

On Tuesday, two rival Alberta politicians had a rare moment of agreement – both unhappy with the Premier’s choice for Environment Minister.

Steven Guilbeault – a former head of Greenpeace Quebec – was appointed to the post by Justin Trudeau on Tuesday.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he feared Guilbeault would impose a “radical program that would lead to mass unemployment.”

“I hope he sends a signal that he is ready to work constructively and cooperatively with us, as partners, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while developing the economy,” said Kenney said.

NDP Leader Rachel Notley agreed with Kenney – before quickly adding that it is her government’s job to sell Alberta’s industry and environmental initiatives.

“I share some of the concerns about some of the historic positions taken by this minister in the past, some of his anti-pipeline comments, which are certainly troubling,” she said.

“After 30 years of fighting climate change outside of government, I am touched and honored to have the opportunity to step up our fight against climate change as Canada’s new Minister of Environment and Climate Change” , Guilbeault tweeted.

The new minister said one of his first assignments was to attend an upcoming United Nations climate change conference in Scotland.

Notley said Kenney or Environment Minister Jason Nixon should join him in promoting the Alberta industry.

Nixon called Guilbeault a “radical environmentalist” and invited him to come to the West so he could see Alberta’s oil and gas operations on his own.

Some environmental groups applauded Guilbeault’s appointment.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Chelan Skulski

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