OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Three western Canadian premiers blasted the suggestion by one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ministers that the federal government could take control of a province’s natural resources, calling the idea “dangerous” for national unity.
In a joint letter released yesterday to Trudeau, Premiers Danielle Smith of Alberta, Scott Moe of Saskatchewan, and Heather Stefanson of Manitoba wrote that he needs to “tell Canadians today that federal Justice Minister David Lametti was not speaking on behalf of the federal government when he said he would look at rescinding the 1930 Natural Resources Transfer Agreements with the Prairie provinces and strip away their constitutional authority and control over natural resources.”
“The prime minister needs to immediately retract these dangerous and divisive comments by his justice minister,” they added.
The premiers wrote that the agreements in place since 1930 giving the provinces full autonomy over their natural resources “recognized the Prairie provinces with the same rights over resources that all other provinces already had.”
“Those rights have been fundamental to the people and the economic autonomy of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta for nearly 100 years,” the premiers wrote.
The premiers stated strongly that the Trudeau federal government “cannot” unilaterally “change the Constitution.”
“It should not even be considering stripping resource rights away from the three Prairie provinces,” the premiers wrote.
The counterattack against Trudeau by the premiers comes after Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte of the Prince Albert Grand Council and Chief Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte said a few days ago that the federal government should withdraw the Natural Resources Transfer Act.
The chiefs claimed that the resources were given to the provinces without “ever asking one Indian if it was OK to do that.”
In response, Lametti said that he would look into the issue.
“It won’t be uncontroversial is the only thing I would say, with a bit of a smile,” he said.
The right for prairie provinces to have full autonomy over their natural resources comes from the 1930s Natural Resource Transfer Agreement, which is considered to be a fundamental tenet for Canadian unity.
On Wednesday, Trudeau responded to the premiers’ letter by claiming that they were “trying to elevate fears that have absolutely no grounding in truth.”
On Monday, Smith raised the issue after tweeting that should the Trudeau government try to nationalize Canada’s natural resources, it “would pose an unprecedented risk to national unity and Alberta condemns this federal threat in the strongest possible terms.”
“I will be contacting Premiers Scott Moe and Heather Stefanson to discuss next steps and call on the Prime Minister to immediately have his Justice Minister retract and apologize for these comments immediately,” she added.
On Monday after the premiers spoke, Lametti said in a statement that at “no point did I commit our government to reviewing areas of provincial jurisdiction, including that over natural resources.”
Moe has repeatedly told Trudeau to back off on attacks against his province’s energy industry.
With the full support of the United Conservative Party that Smith leads, she passed into law last year the Sovereignty Act, which asserts Alberta’s control over federal government overreach.
Last month, Smith gave Trudeau a frosty reception in their first public face-to-face meeting, telling him bluntly that oil and gas are here to stay and that her province will not allow attacks on its energy industry to continue through his “just transition” green energy agenda.
Since becoming prime minister in 2015, Trudeau has pushed a radical “climate change” agenda that has increased costs for many products, primarily due to his imposition of a punitive and ever-increasing “carbon tax” on gas and diesel.
The raising of fuel-related taxes has come in conjunction with the Trudeau government’s decision to join a variety of global initiatives, including the United Nations’ “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” which involves phasing out or reducing the use of coal-fired power plants, nitrogen-rich fertilizers and natural gas.
A mid-January article from Blacklock’s Reporter reveals how Trudeau Liberals’ “Just Transition” plan could impact and threaten the jobs of 2.7 million Canadians.
The “just transition” green energy plan was announced in January by Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, who informed citizens the federal government will be moving ahead with what it calls “just transition” legislation.
The so-called “just transition” legislation will be designed to coerce workers in the oil and gas sector to transition into “green” jobs.