Alberta Premier Danielle Smith had some harsh words for the federal environment minister over the federal government’s misplaced victory lap following its loss at the Supreme Court last week.
Smith said Steven Guilbeault was “becoming very irritating.”
Amidst a war of words with the federal government over the Supreme Court’s rejection of a bill Alberta dubbed the ‘no more pipelines act’, Smith expressed her frustration with Guilbeault at a press conference Thursday.
“I would say that Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault is an ideologue,” Smith said. “He’s always been going off announcing things unilaterally, and he’s, quite frankly, becoming very irritating to both me and my environment minister, Rebecca Schulz.”
Smith and Schulz have sharply criticized Guilbeault and the federal government for doubling down on their plans for a net zero electrical grid by 2035.
On Monday, federal officials conveyed confidence that their strategies for capping greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sectors and their proposed Clean Electricity Regulations targeting power generation emissions would remain largely untouched. This assurance comes despite the Supreme Court’s recent determination that the 2019 Impact Assessment Act infringes on provincial jurisdiction.
Smith has stood firm with Alberta’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. She said that her government has a constructive relationship with other federal ministers and her deputy ministers.
Smith said Guilbeault, in contrast, hasn’t acted in good faith.
“As he continues to try to act unilaterally, I just take him less and less seriously,” said Smith.
This is not the first time Smith has criticized Guilbeault. Shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling of the federal government’s Impact Assessment Act as largely unconstitutional, Guilbeault tried to position this ruling as a win for the federal government.
“Today, we accept the court’s opinion, which provides new guidance on the Impact Assessment Act, while affirming the right of the Government of Canada to collaborate with provinces on environmental protection,” Guilbeault said in a statement at the time.
“Guilbeault does not seem to acknowledge how badly he lost,” Smith said in a press conference just after the ruling. “Mr. Guilbeault has done more damage to our investment climate in this province than probably any single federal minister I’ve ever seen.”