Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to follow up on her request for the federal government to halt its “Just Transition” legislation, which has not yet been tabled but is currently in the works.
In a letter to Trudeau on Thursday, Smith referenced her February 7 meeting with the prime minister in Ottawa in which she also requested the federal Emissions Reduction Plan must be halted.
Instead of these programs, Smith said a collaborative effort from both governments to attract investment and workers into Alberta’s emerging, conventional and non-conventional energy sectors would be a “much more productive alternative.”
“In that meeting, you expressed a willingness to pursue this course of collaborative action, but requested it be commenced promptly,” Smith said.
Smith said she met with her ministers immediately upon her return to Alberta. Following those discussions, she now suggests both governments coordinate an approach for a carbon capture, utilization and storage incentive program (CCUS) for the purpose of net emissions reductions in Alberta while attracting billions in new investments for Alberta-based oil and gas projects, electricity, manufacturing and other sectors.
“To this end, we propose coordinating a federal CCUS income tax credit with an expansion of our current Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program (APIP) to include CCUS projects,” Smith said.
“This new incentive program would be in addition to the over $1.8 billion already invested into CCUS projects across the province by the Government of Alberta as well as our province’s additional implicit contribution to CCUS made through our current royalty regime.”
She also wants both governments to discuss expanding this coordinated approach to incentivizing other emerging emission reducing technologies.
Trudeau has yet to respond to Smith’s open letter, but on Friday, the Trudeau Liberals released a plan to create sustainable jobs that aims to transition workers away from the fossil fuel industry and toward clean energy.
The interim plan, which will guide the government’s “Just Transition” approach from 2023-25, includes the establishment of a new training centre for sustainable jobs and a new government advisory body. The government will develop a full sustainable jobs plan every five years starting in 2025.
“Canada has what it takes to become the clean energy and technology supplier of choice in a net-zero world,” Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in a news release.
“With this plan, the federal government is taking yet another step forward to ensure that Canada’s workers have the skills and support necessary to seize this generational opportunity.”
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley has also called on the federal government to drop its “Just Transition” legislation. Wilkinson has said the government plans to table such legislation in the spring.