New federal minister says it is a ‘great honor’ to represent Alberta at the cabinet table

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Alberta’s first federal cabinet minister in two years says he recognizes his responsibility to be a voice for the province in the federal government.


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Randy Boissonnault, MP for Edmonton Center, was appointed minister of tourism and associate minister of finance by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week in Ottawa. He is Alberta’s only cabinet representative and the first cabinet minister for Alberta since 2019, when the Liberals were barred from the province.

“It is a great honor for me to represent Alberta at the cabinet table and we wanted Albertans in the caucus and the cabinet,” he said in an interview with Postmedia the day after the cabinet was announced.

“I take this dual responsibility very seriously and look forward to ensuring that the concerns and priorities of our province are expressed.”

Boissonnault’s appointment comes after an October referendum in Alberta, where 61.7 percent of Albertans who voted said they wanted to remove the principle of equality from the constitution.


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While Alberta does not have the power to do that, Prime Minister Jason Kenney has argued that a vote in favor could be used as a lever to negotiate a “fair deal” with Ottawa.

“This is a powerful statement today, a democratic statement, in which the people of Alberta demand to be respected,” Kenney said after the release of the referendum results.

“We fully expect the prime minister to respect the constitutional amendment process and to sit down to negotiate with Alberta in good faith.”

When asked if he thought the negotiations would actually take place, Boissonnault pointed to the amount of money and federal support, including from the military, that Alberta has received during the pandemic.

“That’s the very principle behind equalization, making sure all Canadians have a fair chance of success, no matter where they live,” he said.


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“Every province, including us in Alberta, has benefited from the program at some point and that matching program enables the provinces to provide education, world-class healthcare and other services that Canadians depend on. So it’s a prime example of Canadians supporting each other and Canadian values. “

Although a formal request to begin negotiations with Ottawa has yet to be approved in the Alberta legislature, Kenney has suggested that negotiating topics could include changes to the fiscal stabilization program or to federal legislation on tankers and energy projects.

Boissonnault said these are the kinds of concerns that Kenney should discuss with other prime ministers at Federation Council meetings because they require “significant consensus across the country to get there.”


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On the day the new cabinet was announced, Alberta politicians, including Kenney, began to express concern over the appointment of Steven Guilbeault as Canada’s new minister for the environment and climate change.

Kenney called the appointment of Guilbeault, a well-known environmental activist who has openly opposed the pipelines and once climbed on the roof of then-Prime Minister Ralph Klein’s home, as “very troublesome.”

Boissonault said that concerns about climate change were the main topic he heard from voters during the campaign.

“When we have (energy) companies like Cenovus and Suncor committed to a zero net future and the decarbonization of their industry, that is something we can and must do as a federal government and each minister has a responsibility to make sure that happens, ” he said.

Parliament is scheduled to return on November 22.

– With files from Hamdi Issawi

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