The United Conservative Party (UCP) government says Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley’s comments calling on the Trudeau government to quell Alberta Sovereignty Act legislation were no “slip of the tongue.” 

Earlier this month, the UCP caucus demanded an apology from Notley after she said the federal government should squash the act.

“I think if they revoke the Act, that would be the right thing to do,” she said on Wednesday, in response to a question about whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should revoke the bill. 

NDP spokesperson Benjamin Alldritt immediately walked back those comments, saying Notley was referring to the provincial government. 

“Notley was NOT referring to the federal government,” Alldritt told the CBC. 

“To be clear – the Alberta NDP is calling for the provincial government to revoke Bill 1, but we are NOT calling for the federal government to disallow it.”

But Alberta’s Chief Government Whip Brad Rutherford said Notley’s remarks were no “slip of the tongue.” 

“Rachel Notley clearly called on Justin Trudeau to revoke an Alberta law and override the will of Alberta’s democratically-elected Legislature,” Rutherford told True North. 

“Ms. Notley didn’t even bother proposing any amendments to the bill she wants Justin Trudeau to revoke. Albertans deserve better than this from the Opposition NDP, who have a duty to contribute to the legislative process.”

“Ultimately, all MLAs in the Alberta Legislature are there to serve Albertans, not Justin Trudeau. The NDP might want to remind themselves of that.”

The Alberta NDP has a policy not to respond to media requests from True North.

Sovereignty Act legislation passed the Alberta legislature on Thursday morning, just ten days after it was tabled; the NDP did not offer any amendments and voted against Bill 1 at all three readings. 

The Opposition says Bill 1 would create “investment uncertainty, jeopardize federal funding agreements and risk Alberta’s economic future.” 

Trudeau has said he’s “not looking for a fight” with Alberta, but added that federal government is not taking anything off the table when it comes to how it may respond to Bill 1. 


  • Rachel Emmanuel

    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.