Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quebec, Alberta Talk Interprovincial Energy Partnership: Quebec, Alberta Talk Energy Partnership

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quebec, Alberta Talk Interprovincial Energy Partnership: Quebec, Alberta Talk Energy Partnership

Article excerpt

QUEBEC - Premier Jean Charest says Canada doesn't need the federal government to make a national energy strategy happen.

And he said dissatisfaction with Ottawa's recent handling of health-care transfer payments will be on the agenda at the Council of the Federation meeting in Victoria on Jan. 16-17.

The one-two punch at the federal government was delivered at a news conference following a meeting with Alberta Premier Alison Redford at the provincial legislature on Wednesday.

Both Charest and Redford said they don't agree with the way the federal government has handled the health-care transfers and both insisted they must be equitable for all provinces.

Charest said after the meeting that provinces are already co-operating with each other on energy.

"We don't need the federal government to make that happen," Charest said.

"We have demonstrated in our acts, not just our words. We have demonstrated that we are well able to do that.

"The basic condition for that to happen and to be successful is that the provinces be able to decide in their areas of jurisdiction and that's where the starting point is. If there's going to be a federal role it should be on our invitation, not them intervening."

Redford has actively promoted an energy strategy with provinces working together to develop resources and bring them to new markets.

Redford's plan, which she refers to as a Canadian energy strategy, would include collaboration on environmental standards and new infrastructure.

"I think we're at a point where . . . what I'm asking provinces to do is to decide if we would like to take this further and if so what that looks like," she said.

Charest pointed out that when Quebec brought in its new energy strategy in 2006, two main priorities were developing capacity and tapping new markets.

Those markets included the rest of Canada and the United States. …

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