Freeland expressed 'openness' on Bill C-69: Jason Kenney
Alberta seems to have gotten the rest of Canada’s provinces on its side during Monday’s premiers meeting in Mississauga, Ont.
Pushing the federal government to allow provinces more control over transfer payments, as well as a call to re-examine Bill C-69 were among the key areas of consensus the 13 provincial and territorial leaders were able to reach, according to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
“We were, frankly, elated to get consensus on two of our key demands,” Kenney told BNN Bloomberg in a Monday interview.
“One is a reform of something called the fiscal stabilization program to give Alberta a much fairer deal … The premiers are unanimously calling on federal government to lift the cap on that program, give us retroactive payments: This would be worth upwards of a couple billion dollars.”
The premiers’ unanimous backing of a “repeal or complete rewrite” of C-69, a bill expanding the regulatory process around large infrastructure projects such as pipelines, sets Alberta up for a meeting with newly-appointed Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland next week.
These demands, alongside Kenney’s threats from early November to exit the Canada Pension Plan, could all be used as bargaining chips with the federal government, the Alberta premier said.
“I think that the case for a provincial pension plan may stand on its own merits, but we’re also looking for issues like this to demonstrate we have leverage in the federation.”
The potential plan – which Kenney said would not be implemented before passing a provincial referendum – could be worth $45 billion for the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo).
He said the province is looking for a similar deal to what Quebec has had in place for decades.
“Quebec has effectively run its own provincial pension plan since the 1960s, and it’s also helped to develop a financial services industry around the Caissse de depot,” Kenney said.
“We could take the $45 billion of premiums that are currently under management by the CPP Investment Board and move that to AIMCo – which gets very good returns - and we would save at least $3 billion per year.”