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Barnes to Table Fair Deal Motion For Alberta Within Canada

Today, Independent MLA Drew Barnes announced plans to table a Private Member’s Motion calling on the government to get serious about fighting for a fair deal for Albertans.

Motion 505 calls on the government to, “deploy every legal, economic, and constitutional tool at the Province’s disposal to maximize its ability to achieve a fair deal for Alberta within the Canadian federation."

“Three years into its mandate, the Kenney government has achieved next to nothing on the fair deal file,” said Barnes. “If the government thinks it can walk back its commitments, the Legislative Assembly has a duty to remind the government of its promises to fight for a fair deal for Albertans. This is the expressed purpose of Motion 505.”

The Motion will be formally tabled early in the Assembly’s spring session. According to Barnes, who served on the government’s Fair Deal Panel in 2021, the UCP was elected to fight for a fair deal, but has failed to make any substantive progress on the five core fair deal issues:

• Fixing the federal Equalization program;

• Scrapping the cap on the federal Fiscal Stabilization program;

• Repealing the federal Carbon Tax;

• Fixing Trudeau’s “No More Pipelines” Bill C-69;

• and Scrapping Trudeau’s Anti-Alberta tanker ban Bill C-48.

Shortly after the 2019 election, Premier Kenney pledged to fight for a fair deal when speaking at the 2019 UCP annual general meeting. He stated, “Our government is prepared to deploy every legal, economic, and constitutional tool at our disposal to maximize our leverage and to win a fair deal for Alberta.”

“Motion 505 references Kenney’s pledge verbatim. This is intentional. It’s important to note that this Premier appointed himself as his own Minister of Intergovernmental Relations in 2019,” said Barnes. “In the private sector, such a spectacular failure to achieve results would be cause for dismissal. Kenney himself has fired other Ministers for much less. He needs to be held accountable for his failure to deliver on this issue.”

Last October, Albertans voted 61.7 per cent in favour of removing equalization from the Constitution. In addition, the Legislature approved a motion recognizing the results of this referendum.

“Kenney promised Albertans this referendum would lead to change, but nothing has changed, and he has taken no action,” said Barnes. “Albertans have done their part. Members of this Assembly have done their part. It is now well past time for the government to follow through on its promises to fight for a fair deal and force Ottawa to the negotiation table.

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