Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi speaks to reporters in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Nenshi says speculation about him being appointed as a representative or adviser for Alberta in federal cabinet is “silly,” but adds he is willing to help bridge the divide between western Canada and the federal government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Calgary mayor, former Alberta premier willing to help PM bridge western divide

Trudeau Liberals were shut out of Alberta and Saskatchewan in the Oct. 21 election

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi is willing to help bridge the current divide between western Canada and the federal government, but called speculation about him being appointed as a representative of — or adviser for — Alberta in federal cabinet “silly.”

“No job has been offered, nor no job has been contemplated,” Nenshi told CTV’s Question Period in an interview aired Sunday.

“Probably it’s wrong, but I am enjoying all this speculation because it’s so silly.”

Nenshi said he’d be prepared to aid the Trudeau government in gaining a better perspective on Alberta issues in an informal way, but appeared to lay down a few ground rules for his cooperation.

Calling separatist rumblings in Alberta “very real,” Nenshi said he spoke with Trudeau about a range of issues seen in the West as irritants in a call he received from the prime minister on Wednesday.

“Of course the (Trans Mountain) pipeline has to get built, of course we need to re-examine Bill C-69 which my premier calls the No More Pipelines Bill, but is actually much more dangerous than that,” Nenshi said.

The popular three-time mayor warned that Bill C-69, known as the Impact Assessment Act, would make it much more difficult to build not just pipelines, but other infrastructure projects as well.

The Trudeau Liberals were shut out of Alberta and Saskatchewan in the Oct. 21 election amid growing frustration with federal policies affecting the oilpatch, leading to questions about how the prime minister would provide representation of the two provinces in his cabinet, which is to be sworn in Nov. 20.

Comments made by Trudeau since the election triggered speculation that he might turn to Nenshi to be a voice for the West in cabinet.

Former Alberta premier Alison Redford has also been tabbed as a potential Trudeau confidant, and said she’s willing to lend the federal Liberals a hand in addressing the gap in western representation.

“I haven’t been asked. I am happy to help in any way,” she told CTV’s Question Period.

“This is something Canadians have been thinking about for a long time and I think the key is that there has to be a lot of voices at the table.”

Bill C-69, designed to change the way the federal government reviews major projects, including oil and gas pipelines, became a key focal point of discontent expressed by Albertans during the federal election campaign.

Oil industry executives have warned the legislation will halt economic growth in Canada, particularly in the West as companies struggle to get bitumen to markets other than the United States.

READ MORE: ‘Havoc and chaos:’ Alberta separatist group gains support

Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vancouver Island lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

UPDATED: One-sailing wait from Swartz Bay ferry terminal after morning protest

Movement in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Itska back in owner’s arms after man returns missing Tofino dog

Shannon Boothman reunited with Itska on Sunday

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Quick response from Comox Fire Rescue saves two homes

Quick response by Comox firefighters quenched a vehicle blaze Sunday befor it… Continue reading

Suspect pulls knife on staff at Nanaimo 7-Eleven

Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect who allegedly took items then produced knife when staff approached

Sooke runner breaks record with 200th consecutive race

Bruce Hawkes began Island Race Series streak in 1995

Nanaimo RCMP arrest man who allegedly pushed clerk to floor during armed robbery

Chase Peter Goodale scheduled to appear in court today, Jan. 20

Campbell River’s Teal Harle to compete at X Games this week

Freestyle skier set to take part in slopestyle and big air competitions

Poll suggests some don’t think Canada should send troops to stop genocide

The findings are being released just before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

Most Read