Jason Kenney responds to sovereignty act, calling it a ‘disaster for Alberta’

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney faced down questions on the sovereignty act Monday, as he launched a new provincial program to bring workers to the province.

Danielle Smith, the front-runner for the UCP premiership, proposed a sovereignty act for the province this fall to ignore federal laws, along with steps to create a provincial police force and tax-collection agency.

The Alberta sovereignty act would grant the legislature discretion to refuse to enforce federal laws or court decisions it deems an intrusion on provincial rights or a threat to provincial interests.


When faced with questions regarding the sovereignty act, Kenney said it “would be a disaster for Alberta,” repeating what he said at a town hall meeting in Dec. 2021.

“This government was elected on a commitment to create jobs, grow the economy, and get pipelines built,” Kenney said. “This so-called sovereignty would be a body blow to all three of those things.”

Kenney said that it would drive people away from the province, and investment opportunities would fizzle away. All this during a time that he calls “fantastic economic momentum.”

He also says that business contacts in other areas would want to respect the rule of law, and would not be willing to work with a government that won’t work with the federal government.

Businesses overseas would not want to work with a government that believes “they can tear up the Constitution,” according to Kenney.

“As somebody who has been obsessed with job creation and economic growth, promoting investment in this province, I can tell you firsthand that a government or a legislature that would pursue this de facto plan for separatism would end the huge economic momentum in this province in its tracks,” Kenney said.

If the sovereignty act were to pass, this would set a precedent for other provincial governments to rule Canadian constitution as unlawful, and strike against Alberta when a deal needs to pass, according to Kenney.

The Trans Mountain Expansion was initially fought against by the B.C. government, but they were ultimately forced to comply with the expansion due to federal law allowing Alberta to continue.


“I said that word for word January, February, and March when this idea was first circulating. And I’m restating my position now because my job as premier of Alberta is to defend the vital interests of this province,” Kenney said.

“Driving away investment, hammering our economy, and forever potentially killing the prospect of coastal pipelines would massively damage Alberta.”

Kenney says that launching a separatist project would steer Canadians away from Alberta, citing Quebec and the separatist movement in 1976 by René Lévesque. Kenney quoted Howard Anglin, the former president of the Constitution Foundation, and said that [Anglin] “called this the Alberta suicide act, and he says the act would be an economic disaster.”

“What business would trust a government that doesn’t recognize constitutionally appointed judges, and is committed to making up the law as it goes along?”

Lévesque was the founder of the Parti Québécois, and was premier of Quebec from 1976-1985. He was the first Québécois politician to seek independence for Quebec through political referendum.

-With files from The Canadian Press

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today