Alberta will use 'every legal recourse' in fight for Keystone XL: Kenney
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to get tough with U.S. President Joe Biden over his order to tear up the Keystone XL pipeline's permit, effectively killing the project.
Trudeau had his first official call with Biden on Friday afternoon, believed to be the president's first with a foreign head of state since being sworn in on Wednesday. Kenney scripted exactly what he’d have said if given the chance.
"I understand, we want to start a positive relationship. The prime minister needs to be diplomatic,” Kenney said in an interview Friday.
“But if I were him, I would say, ‘Look, Joe, we have a more ambitious climate plan than your administration, and that includes Keystone XL. Please show respect for Canada by at least sitting down and listening to our case about how we can take real climate action and strengthen North American energy security at the same time.'"
Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office revoking a Keystone XL permit granted by his predecessor, Donald Trump.
After the call, Trudeau said Canada still shares plenty of common ground with its closest neighbour and largest trading partner.
“It's not always going to be perfect alignment with the United States; that's the case with any given president,” he told reporters in Ottawa following the conversation.
“In a situation where we are much more aligned - on values, on focus, on the work that needs to be done to give opportunities for everyone while we build a better future - I'm very much looking forward to working with President Biden.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman said Canada should have seen Biden’s order coming, and would be best served to accept Keystone XL will not be built and move on.
“He made it clear a year ago that this is what he was going to do," Heyman said in an interview on Friday. "And, if asked, I would have said: ‘Do it exactly this way. If you’ve already made the decision, just tell them, and let’s move on,’ which is what he did.”
“I think it’s gone,” he added. “We need to just come to terms with that and let’s move ahead and figure out the things that we can work on together.”
Kenney previously voiced his anger over the move, calling it an "insult" and telling reporters on Wednesday that it is “a gut punch to the Alberta and Canadian economies.”
Heyman said that type of rhetoric won’t help save Keystone XL although he understands Kenney’s frustration.
“It was very unfortunate that the premier used the language he did, which was extreme and disappointing,” Heyman said. “But, I do believe he said it under a period of frustration.”
The Alberta premier said his government plans to use every tool at its disposal to fight the order, including provisions included in the renegotiated North American trade pact.
"We certainly intend to use every legal recourse available to us to demand compensation for this decision,” Kenney said. “We believe it's a violation of the investor protection provisions of NAFTA, which were carried forward under the new CUSMA trade deal."