EDMONTON, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) — The conservative government of Alberta under Premier Danielle Smith warned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, through a legislative motion, that it will not tolerate the federal government trying to invalidate any of its provincial laws.
“Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly express its opposition to any action taken by the Government of Canada to disallow a law passed by the Legislative Assembly,” reads a motion put forth Wednesday in the Alberta Legislature by house leader Joseph Schow.
The motion comes after the Smith government passed its “Sovereignty Act” legislation despite leftist pushback from the opposition NDP under former premier Rachel Notley as well as Trudeau.
Notley had called upon Trudeau to possibly use federal powers called “disallowance” to stop Smith’s Sovereignty Act from passing. This move was blasted by the Smith government.
The use of disallowance by the federal government has not happened since the early 1940s, and its legality has been questioned by constitutional scholars. For Trudeau to use it against Alberta would trigger a constitutional crisis.
Trudeau said Smith’s Sovereignty Act is a political “tool” being used to pick a “fight” with his government despite earlier saying he would “work” with Alberta. He also said that all options were “on the table.”
United Conservative Party (UCP) MLAs under Smith put their full support behind the Sovereignty Act to quicken its passage, which will now become law once it receives Royal Assent.
However, Royal Assent is another area in which leftist influence could overturn the bill, in theory at least.
Alberta Lieutenant Governor Salma Lakhani, the King’s representative for the province, said before Smith became premier that she might try and stop the Sovereignty Act.
Lakhani made the comments before any form of the Sovereignty Act had been written, however.
She was appointed as Alberta’s lieutenant governor by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2020.
Documents from Elections Canada as reported by the Counter Signal show that she has donated over $27,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada.
Smith’s Sovereignty Act is still awaiting Lakhani’s approval, and it is unclear at this time when that will occur.
Should Lakhani refuse to sign the bill into law, it would be an unprecedented form of overreach and a use of a power that has long been nothing more than a formality.
The last time an Alberta lieutenant governor did not sign a bill into law was in the 1930s.
Sovereignty Act is about ‘saving Canada,’ says Smith
Bill 1, Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act, will allow the province to assert itself over draconian federal government overreach. The bill has received pushback from left-wing critics including Trudeau.
The newly tabled Sovereignty Act would prevent “unconstitutional” federal government overreach into matters of provincial authority.
Smith said that her Sovereignty Act is about “saving Canada” by allowing her province to assert itself as an equal partner in confederation.
“I’m not talking about leaving Canada. I’m talking about saving Canada,” Smith said.
“I’m talking about how we’re going to be able to assert the way this country is supposed to work. We are a federalist nation. We are not a unitary state where the federal government dictates.”
Smith said Alberta has the “exclusive right to pass laws.”
“The federal government violates it every day by declaring plastics toxic so they can take it over by trying to enforce the admissions cap on our fertilizer by putting out an emissions cap on oil and gas,” Smith said.
Smith’s Sovereignty Act will most notably help the province push back against federally imposed rules that impact the region’s oil and gas sector, a major backbone of the western Canadian economy.