A Liberal MP who called on Alberta Premier Danielle Smith to appear before the House of Commons natural resources committee never actually invited her – even though he’s the chair.

Prior to Smith’s arrival in Ottawa, Liberal MP George Chahal said he hoped she would appear before the committee. When Smith agreed to come, he fell silent. 

“When Premier @ABDaniellesmith comes to Ottawa next week, I hope she’ll explain to the Natural Resources committee why she’s putting clean energy investments at risk,” Chahal wrote in a post to X on Sunday.

“I would be happy to come speak. Is this a formal invitation? As luck would have it, I just landed in Ottawa,” replied Smith, only hours later. 

Chahal never replied. He did not invite Smith. In fact, the committee’s Conservative vice-chair, Shannon Stubbs, suggested that the hollow invite was nothing more than an empty gesture. 

“George is the chair — the agenda is set in advance, including for yesterday’s meeting, which he knew despite his public show of an invite. He has not initiated a formal invitation outside of his X post, nor a discussion about the invitation,” Stubbs told True North, adding that Chahal “only plays political games.”

True North reached out to Chahal for comment but received no response.

Smith’s press secretary, Sam Blackett, said the invitation lacked substance and was nothing more “than a political jab.”

A similar event occurred last year, said Stubbs, when Smith was willing to appear at the environment committee on the same issue last October. The NDP and Liberals refused to invite her officially, even when they publicly said they wanted Smith to be there. 

“He knows Alberta continues to lead the country in alternative/renewable energy development right now—as has been the case for decades too—despite the lies from anti-energy activists like the NDP-Liberals, so he sure doesn’t want her to show up to explain that reality,” said Stubbs.

Stubbs suggested that Chahal spend more time telling his government to fix its half a decade old unconstitutional law, bill C-69, scrap the oil and gas emissions cap, axe the carbon tax, and fix the budget, instead of taking juvenile shots at the premier of his province with faux public offers. 

Smith was in Ottawa opening her province’s new representative office, which she hopes will strengthen the province’s relationship with partners on Parliament Hill and other parts of Canada and help Alberta stay informed on emerging decisions.

Smith also expected to meet with several federal ministers while in Ottawa, including Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan, and Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne.