Man­i­toba premier has wish list for meet­ing with Trudeau

Brian Pal­lis­ter says West must have pipe­lines for econ­omy to grow and eas­ing of en­vi­ron­men­tal rules

The Peterborough Examiner - - CANADA & WORLD - STEVE LAMBERT

WIN­NIPEG — Man­i­toba Premier Brian Pal­lis­ter says the prime min­is­ter must help unify the coun­try by en­sur­ing the Trans Mountain pipe­line ex­pan­sion is built so that western oil can get coastal ac­cess to over­seas mar­kets.

The pipe­line, the econ­omy and crime are three of the things on Pal­lis­ter’s agenda for a one-hour meet­ing with Justin Trudeau set for Fri­day in Ot­tawa.

“We’ve got to get the pipe­line built,” Pal­lis­ter said in his of­fice Wed­nes­day.

“I would say that it’s in­deli­bly etched in my un­der­stand­ing that you can’t have so­cial progress with­out eco­nomic progress.”

Pal­lis­ter has dis­missed talk of western sep­a­ra­tion and has not been as stri­dent as the pre­miers of Saskatchew­an and Al­berta re­cently in crit­i­ciz­ing Trudeau. He ap­pears to be putting much of the onus on the prime min­is­ter to mend the coun­try’s fences.

He ac­cused Trudeau of pick­ing fights with pre­miers and pointed to re­ports of high sui­cide rates in Al­berta’s oil­patch since the in­dus­try down­turn.

“You’re talk­ing about an in­cred­i­bly stress­ful sit­u­a­tion in the prov­ince of Al­berta,” he said.

“We need to make the coun­try work bet­ter, and the concerns that peo­ple have in Al­berta and Saskatchew­an — and else­where — can’t be ig­nored. They need to be ad­dressed.

“The prime min­is­ter has said so fol­low­ing the (fed­eral) elec­tion, but deeds mat­ter more than words, so it’s time for ac­tion.” Pal­lis­ter also wants Ot­tawa to can­cel re­cent changes to en­vi­ron­men­tal rules that pipe­lines and other projects must ad­dress be­fore they can go ahead. The same leg­is­la­tion threat­ens flood-pro­tec­tion projects and hy­dro de­vel­op­ment that Man­i­toba needs, he said.

Pal­lis­ter fur­ther plans to dis­cuss crime and pub­lic safety with Trudeau, given a re­cent spike in homi­cides and other vi­o­lent crimes in Win­nipeg.

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