‘Dirty’ oil finances Quebec’s schools, hospitals, Alberta reminds Legault
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on Tuesday invited Quebec Premier François Legault to “get off his high horse” when it comes to what the latter dismisses as “dirty” energy, reminding Legault that her province’s oil revenues help pay for Quebec’s social programs and infrastructure.
“He needs to look at what’s in the ground, and he needs to understand that not only is our product not dirty, but that it actually funds the schools, the hospitals, the roads and potentially even some of the hydroelectricity infrastructure in Quebec,” Notley told reporters.
The Alberta premier was reacting to comments made last week by Legault during a speech to the first ministers meeting in Montreal. Legault said there was no “social acceptability” to the idea of running a pipeline that would carry “dirty energy” through his province, particularly when Quebec could offer “clean” hydroelectric energy at a competitive price.
Legault’s comments took on a bitterly ironic aspect on Monday during a meeting with provincial finance ministers, when it became clear that despite posting a budgetary surplus, Quebec would receive the lion’s share of federal transfer payments for 2019-2020 — more than $13 billion.
Ottawa will pay a total of $20 billion in equalization payments to five provinces to ensure a uniform level of public services across the country. Apart from Quebec, cheques will also be sent to Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.
Alberta, considered a rich province when it comes to equalization eligibility, complains it is going through an economic crisis because of the weak price for oil. The Notley government is forecasting a $7.5-billion deficit for the current financial year. (Source: Montreal Gazette)
Some Social Media jousting over this cartoon…