Our belligerent premier, Mr. Kenney, rarely misses an opportunity to pick a fight with the feds. His latest foray is a court challenge of PM Trudeau’s invoking of the Emergencies Act. He claims the measure violated civil liberties and invaded provincial jurisdiction.
His concern about civil liberties is not entirely convincing considering that his government enacted its own Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, a draconian piece of legislation presumably designed to suppress protests interfering with pipelines and such. The Act’s constitutionality is currently being challenged in court by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.
And there’s a tad of hypocrisy involved in his criticism of Trudeau invoking the Securities Act when his government had begged Ottawa for help in dealing with the blockade at the Coutts, Alberta, border crossing. Inviting the feds into provincial jurisdiction seemed OK then.
Not long after winning the Alberta election, Kenney and company sued to defeat the federal carbon tax. As most pundits expected, he lost. Ot perhaps I should say we lost. After all, it was our money.
Nor does the premier depend solely on lawsuits to feed his crusading ego. Inquiries, too, have been brought into the fray, specifically the Allan Inquiry, known officially as the Public Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns to look into allegations that foreign environmental groups were waging an insidious war on Alberta’s oil industry. After numerous delays and an escalating budget that topped out at $3.5-million, Commissioner Steve Allan reported, “I have not found any suggestions of wrongdoing on the part of any individual or organization. … Indeed, they have exercised their rights of free speech.” In other words, the whole exercise was a fizzle.
And then there was the infamous war room, the Canadian Energy Centre, created to promote “truth” about the energy industry. Established with a generous annual budget of $30-million a year, the outfit embarrassed itself so badly Kenney punished it with a budget cut of 90 percent. Ironically, the war room was even excoriated in the Allan report.
But the grandaddy of all Kenney’s escapades was his investment early in 2020 of $1.3-billion of our tax dollars, with a promise of more in loans, in the Keystone XL pipeline. One of the first things Joe Biden did when elected president was cancel the project. Biden had made it clear during his campaign that he would do this, and he was leading in the polls when the premier threw the dice. All Kenney had to do was wait until the U.S. election was over and know for sure how the land lay, but no, he had to make his reckless gamble.
All vintage Kenney. Lawsuits, inquiries, war rooms, gambles, all at our expense. Every one a loser. Now he will pursue Ottawa’s invoking of the Emergencies Act. Will he finally win one? I’d bet against it, but I’ll get stuck with my share of the legal bills regardless.