You wouldn’t have thunk it.
Jason Kenney’s first day in the legislature and Premier Notley sounds, well, like the United Conservative leader.
And she’s tough-talking in a way she ridiculed when the words came out of Kenney’s mouth many, many times over many, many months.
Yes, it’s Notley saying her NDP government is willing to use every option to go after B.C.’s NDP government and its stalling of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline to the coast.
It’s Notley saying says she will do whatever it takes, including turning off the oil tap to B.C., if it comes to that.
This is exactly what Kenney has been talking about for a very long time. I remember him last fall in Calgary banging the drum for cutting off oil to B.C.
I remember when Notley went on national TV and ridiculed Kenney, comparing him to Trump.
Kenney was isolating Alberta. He was more or less saying we should build a wall around Alberta. Notley said she wouldn’t be surprised if he demanded B.C. pay for it.
“He’s just not going to build a pipeline by crossing his arms, sticking out his lower lip, pouting and then somehow suggesting the answer to it is to ask Kinder Morgan to actually stop shipping what they’re already shipping.”
This is exactly what Notley says should now be one of the answers for Alberta. Kenney’s answer.
Yes, Notley had said none of Kenney’s pitch made sense. It wasn’t logical.
Now it makes sense, now it’s logical.
It took Notley a long time to talk like Jason Kenney.
If you were paying attention you couldn’t help but hear Kenney say Alberta could refuse to grant permits to ship oil to B.C. through the existing pipeline.
“Let B.C. consumers see what sky-high gas prices look like. If the B.C. government wants to start a trade war, we’ll finish it.”
“The mayor of Vancouver says he wants a carbon-free economy by 2040. Maybe we should give him a carbon-free economy by 2020.”
You could almost see Team Notley’s eyeballs roll.
So here’s Kenney on Thursday saying what Notley now favours is “exactly the strategy I’ve advocated since Day One.”
Kenney mentions how Notley thought he was having a temper tantrum.
“And now she’s using word for word the same language. I guess I should be flattered but I wish they were ahead of the curve, not behind it.”
Kenney also would like to see some action from the premier since Notley’s last move was to fold on the B.C. wine ban when the B.C. NDP weren’t backing away from the pipeline war.
It’s a little embarrassing when you hear Notley say her … ah … taking Kenney’s position is “not really a change of heart.”
It’s more embarrassing when Notley says “none of this is being done with a view or an eye on what anybody in the opposition is doing.”
Is that Pinocchio in the room?
The battle in the legislature begins.
Kenney navigated through the damaged goods and petty rivalries of Alberta’s wounded conservative scene and now he faces Notley.
Last weekend, the premier goes after Kenney in a speech to her own party.
Notley says Kenney wants to give a tax cut to the rich, privatize health care, cut education.
Notley accuses the United Conservatives of being like the old Toryland dynasty with its cronyism and corruption. She says it is the NDP defending the interests of Albertans.
Kenney doesn’t sound rattled. He says the NDP government is desperate and “running out of gas and ideas.”
“Everything they’ve thrown at us, including the kitchen sink, hasn’t worked. They’ve thrown everything at the wall and nothing has stuck.
“If they spend more time attacking the opposition than defending their policies it just goes to show how weak the government has become.”
In the days and weeks ahead, Kenney says he wants to talk about jobs, the economy, the carbon tax, the debt, the pipeline.
But the NDP say we’ve weathered the storm, turned the corner, the good times are within our grasp.
“They’re saying it but no one is buying it,” says Kenney.
The United Conservative leader says another term of the NDP will begin to change Alberta “into a province motivated by the envy of socialism.”
In taking on Notley, Kenney says his party won’t be perfect but will be disciplined.
“There’s a huge responsibility on our shoulders, to get this province back on track. We can’t play around.
“The stakes could not be higher.”