United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership candidate Danielle Smith says she wouldn’t permit federal “climate cops” to operate in Alberta, if elected Premier. 

She made the comments in response to an Environment and Climate Change Canada job posting for an “Enforcement Officer.”

Should the federal government send ECCC enforcement officers, Smith said her Alberta Sovereignty Act would bar them from the province. 

“Is (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau seriously hiring Climate Change Enforcement Officers? As Premier, we will not permit any Federal climate cops to operate in Alberta by virtue of the Alberta Sovereignty Act,” Smith wrote in a fundraising email.

“Alberta needs its own provincial police force for reasons just like this and we need the Alberta Sovereignty Act to stand up to Trudeau for what ever wild idea he has next!”

The Alberta Sovereignty Act proposes to refuse to enforce federal legislation that interferes with provincial jurisdiction or that constitutes an attack on the interests of Alberta.

According to a job posting on LinkedIn, the “Enforcement Officer” would be categorized under “Environmental (Pollution) Enforcement” and would conduct inspections to ensure compliance with federal environmental laws. 

The officer would investigate alleged violations of federal environmental laws “including taking statements from witnesses or accused persons, preparing and executing search warrants, reviewing and assessing evidence, and preparing court briefs.” The officer would also work with partner law enforcement, regulatory enforcement agencies and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

“Environmental Enforcement Officers are required to wear uniforms and carry officer safety equipment (such as: duty belt, body armour, hand cuffs, baton and prohibited weapons such as OC spray),” the posting reads. 

Smith wondered why the enforcement officers would need body armour, batons and other weapons.

 “I am sure you have the same questions as me,” she wrote to supporters. 

On Tuesday, The Counter Signal reported that ECCC is building a new facility in Winnipeg that will include a firearms armoury and “controlled quiet rooms.” The publication obtained documents showing draft plans for the new facility. 

Environment Canada did not respond to a request for comment from True North about the plans on Monday. True North has not independently authenticated the leaked document. 

The announcement follows ECCC staff trespassing on Saskatchewan farmland to test the water.

The federal government has said it’s investigating the incidents. The agency confirmed that water scientists were approached by one landowner who notified them they were on private land as they took samples near a highway in Pense, Sask. on August 11. The Saskatchewan government alleges there were multiple trespassing offences. 

Smith has pitched the Sovereignty Act as a means to deal with almost all federal interference in Alberta. But all her leadership opponents but one — Todd Loewen — say it won’t work because it calls for a breaking of the rule of law and would ruin investment in Alberta. 

Earlier this month on his radio show, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Smith’s Sovereignty Act is “nuts” and would make Alberta a  “laughingstock.” In response, Smith urged Kenney not to interfere in the ongoing race to replace him. 

UCP members will elect a new leader and Premier on October 6. 

Alberta Correspondent | + posts

Rachel is a seasoned political reporter who’s covered government institutions from a variety of levels. A Carleton University journalism graduate, she was a multimedia reporter for three local Niagara newspapers. Her work has been published in the Toronto Star. Rachel was the inaugural recipient of the Political Matters internship, placing her at The Globe and Mail’s parliamentary bureau. She spent three years covering the federal government for iPolitics. Rachel is the Alberta correspondent for True North based in Edmonton.

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