Trudeau defends Guilbeault amid fiery attacks from Alberta

Amid escalating energy tensions between Alberta and the federal government, Premier Danielle Smith informed Prime Minister Trudeau of her strained relationship with Environment Minister Guilbeault. "I would welcome a reset in our relationship on that front," expressed Smith.

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Premier Danielle Smith has had enough of the radical energy policies implemented by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fire him and reset Ottawa’s relationship with Alberta during a Wednesday meeting.

“I let him know that I don't have as great a relationship with one of his ministers,” Smith told reporters, referring to Guilbeault.

“And I expressed my desire in person that if he chose to make a change in that portfolio, I'd be happy to have a reset in our relationship on that front,” she said.

Unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Trudeau has no apparent desire to make any portfolio adjustments.

“In regards to my environment minister, I have tremendous faith and confidence in him,” he said at a separate press conference.

“If people are having trouble getting along with him, maybe they need to look at their own approach to these big issues as opposed to looking at what he's talking about,” added Trudeau. 

He placed the blame squarely on Smith, which she roundly rejected.

“It's admirable that [Trudeau’s] defending that member of his team. But I think the reality is somewhat different,” Smith said in response to a question from Rebel News.

“We've got a minister who has lost in court on the Impact Assessment Act and, rather than accept that, seems to be trying to find a workaround on it. [He] lost on plastics and rather than accept that, is appealing it,” she continued, referring to the unconstitutional ban on single-use plastics.

Smith contends her government continues to “work on the things that we can work together on” with her federal counterpart, despite having previously called Guilbeault an “ideologue” complicit in national disunity. 

“He basically announced that he doesn't want to build any more roads, which he had to walk back,” she said.

On February 14, the minister made a controversial statement saying the feds would cease new funding for “large” road projects, earning the ire of Smith.

“Our government has made the decision to stop investing in new road infrastructure,” Guilbeault told donors at a Montreal fundraiser luncheon. “The analysis we have done is that the network is perfectly adequate to respond to the needs we have,” he added.

On February 16, Smith denounced Guilbeault for his “increasingly erratic and bizarre” comments. She says that he comes up with some new unattainable policy “every time he opens his mouth.”

“It's like he's never stepped foot outside of Montreal,” added the premier. “I can understand that [he] might not know how big this country is.” 

Nevertheless, Trudeau stood by his minister Wednesday, claiming he supports “building a better future for everyone.”

Guilbeault emphasized the importance of people not using their cars instead of public transportation moving forward. “All of our planning practices have to be coherent with these mobility objectives, for the reduction of the ecological footprint of transportation and greenhouse emissions,” he said.

But the minister dodged accountability last week after Opposition MPs demanded testimony on his remarks.

As reported by Blacklock’s Reporter, Guilbeault skipped a summons for questioning by the Commons transport committee, even though he had ample notice. 

On February 21, the transport committee approved a Conservative motion requesting his appearance "within 14 days of this motion being adopted" to clarify his statement. However, Environment and Climate Change Canada remained silent as the deadline passed on March 6.

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