‘Widespread support’ in Alta. caucus to push back against feds: UCP leader
And joining me now is the new United conservative party leader and Alberta Premier designate Danielle Smith welcome Miss Smith to power play and congratulations for last night that was quite a night um you know you you are the premier designate you promised change but you don’t have a seat so you know how much.
Change can you really expect to do without a seat it’s it’s really important to get a seat in the legislature and I announced today that I’m going to be traveling it down down to Brooks Medicine Hat one of our mlas has kindly agreed she’d already know she was retiring and she’s kindly decided to step that up so that would be.
The place that I’d be seeking a by-election I do want to meet with the board first and make sure that there aren’t any local issues that I need to resolve but my intention would be if we uh if I if I can to announce that the by-election will begin very early as soon as next week okay so you will be uh you you’ll be getting your your seat.
You’ll be sworn in as Premier however next Tuesday but you said last month you would immediately introduce the Alberta sovereignty act so will you that yes and the nice part about how our process works is that we will have the month of December to be able to pass on the the priorities that I ran on one being the sovereignty act number two.
Being a change to our Human Rights Code to make sure that no one is discriminated against on the basis of medical choice we we can’t be discriminating against unvaccinated people and and causing them to lose their jobs and also the the third thing is reform of our health care System you’ve seen it across the country but.
It’s it’s getting quite dire in Alberta as well with the loss of staff due to impart vaccination policies we’ve got to make sure that we are supporting our front line and getting getting people back to work and getting the reinforcements that they need in as we get into the respiratory virus season in the fall and winter so I I want to go to.
The sovereignty act you know I’m I’m a quebecer uh so you know I’m quite familiar with these kinds of Concepts but this is a proposed law you say would give the Alberta legislature the authority to refuse um you know provincial enforcement of federal laws and policy is you know deemed not to be in Alberta’s interest.
Um does you you have 59 of 87 seats maybe 58 if indeed uh that MLA resigns to give you her seat but does your caucus support it there’s widespread support for pushing back against Ottawa from their incursions into our jurisdiction and and you were probably Familiar of how Quebec used this very same approach when the emergencies Act.
Was declared at the federal level they convened their National Assembly and put forward a motion saying they wouldn’t enforce it and it got unanimous approval so that would be the kind of mechanism that we would use in Alberta as well I think you got an early example last week when Justice Minister Tyler shandro said that our policing priorities are to go.
After gun smuggling and gang crime it’s not to confiscate legally purchase firearms from our farmers and our Hunters so we have said we will not enforce that policing’s provincial jurisdiction as well as the policing contract that’s under our jurisdiction to determine our priorities and property and civil rights are also provincial.
Jurors and you would see and you saw as well that Manitoba and Saskatchewan followed very quickly behind and so those are the kind of of ways that we would use it yes but they don’t have and they’re not going to enact a a sovereignty act as the one uh that that you want to enact but you know you were elected last night on the sixth ballot.
By members of the uh CP you don’t really have a mandate from the people of Alberta so wouldn’t it be you know sort of more legitimate for you to First after a general election to go through a process that is that important and that controversial the I think you saw with Justice Minister’s action last week that we we.
Do already have the power to enforce our constitutional jurisdiction the sovereignty act would just simply add the process like I described in in Quebec where we put it to a legislative vote we have a full debate so that everybody has a chance to make sure that when we’re taking this action that there’s buy-in on us actually adds the.
Democratic process to these kinds of decisions and being that we’re going to be very aggressive at protecting our our constitutional rights I think it was it’s only it’s only fair to put Ottawa notice that things aren’t going to be the same way that they have been for the last number of years Premier Lagoon because you you take a we take it back.
As an example once they negotiate more powers for Quebec with Ottawa immigration being one of them we’re all looking forward to the the next premieres conference with the Prime Minister isn’t that a first step for Alberta in other words you know before a general election to start negotiating perhaps with Ottawa more powers for.
Alberta it’s not a matter necessarily of having more Powers it’s exercising the powers we already have immigration and agriculture joined areas of jurisdiction and we’ve deferred to ottawa’s influence on that Ottawa comes along and gives us uh dictates for every level of social program that we have and tells us how we are going to run them Quebec manages to.
Negotiate getting block transfers without having the federal government tell them how to run their programs we actually want to be treated just like Quebec and if Ottawa is able to give us the same level of respect that they do for Quebec’s constitutional jurisdiction as they do for us then we’re going to have a great relationship but I look.
Forward to working with Francois the premier too that we can also take over well would that be a common front seeing how you guys you you guys seem to be like-minded on on just decentralizing Ottawa bringing back sort of more autonomy for the provinces would you sort of you know gang up with Mr Lego because your.
Campaign seem to be you know more campaign against Ottawa than against your opponents in Alberta well it’s because Ottawa has invaded our jurisdiction we gave them trade and commerce power so that they could help facilitate getting our products to Market instead they have used that power to block getting our products to Market.
They’ve invaded our provincial jurisdiction to develop our resources conserve our resources and Export our resources and we’ve had enough here we we want them to be constructive and we’re going to push back against that and I think Quebec could be an ally on that but certainly Saskatchewan and Manitoba have already demonstrated they.
Can be allies too the way our country is supposed to work is that there are two levels of government and they both have areas of exclusive jurisdiction Ottawa doesn’t respect our jurisdiction we respect theirs but they’ve got to make sure that they stay in their own lane and I think the country will operate as the founders intended it to.
I’m unfortunately that’s all the time we have Alberta Premier designate Daniel Smith thanks again for taking the time because I know you’re very busy today and again congratulations for your win my pleasure thank you