Smith calls for Trudeau to fire Environment Minister

Premier Danielle Smith and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down for a meeting in Calgary on Tuesday. It was the first time the two leaders had met face-to-face in nearly a year.

With nine months marked by winning and losing court cases, media battles, and threats, political watchers had mixed expectations for the sit-down.

The Premier’s office released a statement calling the meeting, “constructive”. The two leaders discussed the federal carbon tax, with Smith expressing her concerns over its contribution to inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, a position shared by seven other provincial leaders.

Smith also thanked Trudeau for the ongoing progress on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansions, which is nearing its final stages and should begin transporting oil in the next few months.

Perhaps the biggest bombshell from the meeting was Premier Danielle Smith asking Prime Minister Trudeau to fire his Minister of Environment, Steven Guilbeault.

Guilbeault has been a focal point of tensions between Alberta and Ottawa for several years.

“I let [Trudeau] know I don’t have as great a relationship with one of his ministers,” said Premier Smith during a media conference.

“The evidence demonstrates there is an Environment Minister that has been given free rein to trample the constitution and interferer with national unity and also investments.”

“I think he knows that Minister Guilbeault is not my favorite minister. I do feel like our relationship would be greatly improved if we had a different point person in that file who was a little more pragmatic and someone who was willing to work with us.”

Following the meeting with Smith, Trudeau took time to affirm his confidence in Minister Guilbeault. Trudeau suggested any tensions on environmental issues are being caused by Canada’s Premiers, and not by Guilbeault himself.  

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