Alberta Premier Danielle Smith informed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the province won’t comply with his  government’s 2035 target for a net zero power grid.

“I’ve indicated to the prime minister that that is not possible by 2035, which is the federal target, we’ve told that to our experts here,” Smith told reporters Friday afternoon, with Trudeau–who’s in Calgary to attend the annual Stampede– seated next to her.

“We also know that an emissions cap, or emissions reduction, such as one proposed of 42% by 2030 but also results in essentially a production cap which we don’t think is realistic or feasible as well.” 

The Trudeau government wants to achieve net-zero by 2035, while Smith maintains 2050 is more feasible. The premier has not yet offered specific targets, but has indicated that more consultation with industry players is required.

Trudeau said there’s lots of work to be done and that there’s a productive working relationship between “our ministers and our folks.” 

 “You’ve highlighted one of the one of the great achievements we’re looking towards, which is this working group,” he said.

“Where we will be able to sit down and really look at what our experts are saying, what your experts are saying (and) figure out the common ground and figure out the path forward, that’s going to make sure we’re responding to the energy needs of a growing economy around the world while at the same time making sure we get to that net zero by 2050 that we all agree on.”

Smith also asked Trudeau to recall Parliament and find a solution to the BC dockworkers’ strike, adding that he should consider back-to-work legislation. 

Last weekend, 7,400 port workers and members of British Columbia’s International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) officially went on strike.

Over $300 billion worth of goods travel through Canada’s West Coast ports, comprising around 16% of the country’s exports. 

Trudeau didn’t commit to recalling Parliament but said he would “put pressure” on all parties.

“Pressure is mounting day by day and people are really really worried about what things could look like next week.”


  • 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.