Kenney has a suggestion for Quebec's propane supply crunch: pipelines
OTTAWA – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney took to Facebook to call out his counterpart in Quebec for his concerns that the ongoing national rail strike is causing a propane shortage in the province.
During a live Q&A on Thursday, Kenney offered up a solution to Quebec Premier François Legault’s concerns: support pipelines.
"We have technology that could guarantee you constant, stable access to propane and other fuels, they’re called pipelines," said Kenney.
Earlier Thursday, Legault called the ongoing Canadian National Railway strike an “emergency” and said if workers and the union don’t reach an agreement soon, Quebec could soon run out of propane.
"We cannot afford a strike for many days, so I think we have to be open to a special law. I’m asking the opposition parties in Ottawa to support Mr. Trudeau if we cannot conclude an agreement with the union soon."
On Friday, Transport Minister Marc Garneau addressed the strike – now entering its fourth day without progress – saying his government is aware of the severity and impact on communities.
"It’s something which is having a considerable impact on Canadians, not only here in Quebec where I am, but across all of the country," said Garneau.
While sympathetic, Garneau said finding common ground in the most "probable" manner lies with the parties involved.
"We believe that mediation, collective bargaining is the right way to do this. We’ve looked at the situation and we feel the two sides need to be talking to each other."
Alberta’s Energy Minister Sonya Savage called for a more aggressive approach – that the federal government reconvenes Parliament before Dec. 5, so lawmakers could enact back-to-work legislation.
Savage went on to say that any disruption to the "170,000 barrels of Western Canadian oil" CN Rail ships per day "would have serious consequences for an economy that is already dealing with severe bottlenecks due to cancelled and delayed pipelines."
Newly appointed Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan is in Alberta Friday, to meet with Savage and others in the energy sector and "listen" to the concerns of the province and look at solutions for all distribution systems.
Kenney reinforced Savage’s comments, calling for a resolution to the strike “as soon as possible,” but said Quebec wouldn’t have to rely on storage of fossil fuels if they could “ship it in” through the province directly.
"We think our friends in Quebec should understand, obviously, the danger – the potential danger – of rail shipments," said Kenney.
With files from CTV's Rachel Gilmore