Smith puts sovereignty act to use
Premier Danielle Smith invoked Alberta’s sovereignty act on Monday to implement new measures in her fight against Ottawa’s looming clean electricity rules while conceding she didn’t need the act to put the changes in place.
Smith said she wanted to invoke the act to send a message that her government is serious about pushing back against Ottawa’s plan to green Canada’s electricity grid by 2035, a plan she says could wreak havoc on Alberta’s natural gasbased grid.
“We’re creating an opportunity for the federal government to do the right thing and back down,” Smith told reporters. “We’re sending the message: ‘Keep working with us on our 2050 target.’ ”
Smith made the comment prior to a motion being introduced in the house under the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act. The act specifies members of the house must debate and vote on motions before Smith’s government can take action.
Monday’s motion calls for Smith’s government to empower provincial officials and regulators to not cooperate with federal rules tied to the 2035 green grid — but not to the point that they break the law. The motion makes it clear that this noncompliance order does not apply to private companies or people.
Federal Energy Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said he is bewildered by Alberta’s move toward using the sovereignty act against proposed clean electricity regulations. “This is a triumph of politics over good public policy,” Wilkinson said.
Toronto Star Newspapers Limited