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Canada Legault congratulates Kenney but says Quebec won’t accept a new oil pipeline

Quebec Premier Francois Legault responds to reporters questions, on April 10, 2019 at the legislature in Quebec City.

Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

Premier Francois Legault is congratulating Jason Kenney on his electoral victory in Alberta while reminding the incoming premier that Quebec’s position on oil pipelines hasn’t changed.

Legault said all parties in Quebec’s legislature oppose any new oil pipelines.

“What I am saying is there is no social acceptability for a new oil pipeline in Quebec,” he said Wednesday, a day after Kenney’s United Conservatives won a decisive majority of seats in the Alberta legislature.

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Legault said the province already receives more than half its oil from Western Canada and is open to a proposed natural gas pipeline coming from Alberta.

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Kenney told supporters Tuesday night that Alberta’s economy is desperate for pipelines that can carry oil to international markets.

Speaking in French, Kenney said his province needs pipelines for the prosperity of all Canadians.

Legault called Kenney’s use of French an elegant gesture.

In his victory speech, Kenney also praised the Legault government’s commitment to reducing Quebec’s dependence on equalization transfers.

Kenney has pledged to use the equalization program as a tool to assert Alberta’s interests in Ottawa and with other provinces.

Legault blames the previous Liberal government for making the province more dependent than ever on equalization.

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“For the moment, there are agreements, I think, until 2022 on the equalization formula. It’s important that that be preserved,” Legault said.

“If together … we are able to create wealth, and Quebec becomes less dependent on equalization, we will both be winners.”

Next door in Ontario, Tory premier Doug Ford welcomed Kenney’s opposition to the federal carbon tax.

Ford stood in the legislature Wednesday to congratulate Kenney, with the rest of the Tory caucus rising for a standing ovation.

“We see just a blue wave going across this country from west to east,” Ford said. “We’re building an anti-carbon tax alliance like this country has never seen.”

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