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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the media during the the 77th United Nations (UN) General Assembly on September 21, 2022, in New York CityPhoto by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — After saying his federal government will “work” with Alberta and its new Sovereignty Act, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau now says the act is a political “tool” being used to pick a “fight” with his government.

“The Sovereignty Act and Alberta is being moved forward as very much a political tool to try and pick a fight with the federal government,” said Trudeau to the Assembly of First Nations last Thursday, adding that he is not interested in “fighting with the Alberta government.” 

Trudeau’s statement seems to be at odds with an earlier statement he made in which he vowed to “work as constructively as possible with Alberta,” but seems to be in line with an even earlier statement in which he threatened to take action against the province over the act, saying that all options remain “on the table.”

Despite left-wing critics and the mainstream media characterizing the measure as extreme, Premier Danielle Smith’s now-passed Sovereignty Act known formally as Bill 1:Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act merely allows the province to defend itself from federal government overreach.

Specifically, the Sovereignty Act intends to prevent “unconstitutional” federal government overreach into matters of provincial jurisdiction, including but not limited to “firearms, energy, natural resources and COVID healthcare decisions.”  

Giving an example of how the legislation could be used, Smith previously explained that “Invoking the Alberta Sovereignty Act via Special Motion against a specific Federal law” could happen “if Justin Trudeau announces tomorrow that under authority of the Federal Emergencies Act, all school-aged children must be vaccinated for COVID.” 

Amid criticism against Smith for proposing the bill, former Canadian Supreme Court justice John C. Major publicly defended the act, rhetorically asking, “what’s so terrible about the province saying, ‘if you want to impose on us, you better be sure you’re doing it constitutionally?’”  

While the bill has many potential uses, it 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.