KANANASKIS, Alta. – Premier Jason Kenney is defending his idea that Alberta could pull out of the federal pension plan by saying times have changed.
He says bold action is needed because of unprecedented hostility from the federal and some provincial governments that are actively blocking Alberta’s economic future.
Kenney didn’t campaign in the spring election on leaving the Canada Pension Plan and setting up a provincial one, but says Albertans would get a say through a referendum.
On the weekend, Kenney announced a panel to research and hold public meetings on whether Alberta should move toward a more independent role within Canada.
He suggested steps such as creating a separate police force, establishing a provincial revenue agency and establishing a provincial constitution.
Kenney says Ottawa and some provinces are unfairly restricting Alberta’s oil and gas industry with what he calls regressive laws and policy roadblocks on pipelines.
Opposition NDP critic Sarah Hoffman says Kenney has strayed too far from his election mandate and Albertans didn’t vote “to have their pensions blown up.”