Conservative leader Andrew Scheer campaigned in two Edmonton battleground ridings on Saturday, enlisting the help of Premier Jason Kenney as his party looks to retake seats in Alberta.
Scheer started his day in the riding of Edmonton Mill Woods, where Conservative candidate Tim Uppal will try to reclaim a seat in the House of Commons after losing his 2015 re-election bid to Liberal Amarjeet Sohi.
Uppal looked on as Scheer reaffirmed the party’s plan for a national energy corridor, a pre-approved passage to move energy resources across the country.
Scheer says a Conservative government would enlist an expert panel to recommend how to establish the corridor, while consulting with the provinces and Indigenous groups.
“The exact specifics and exactly where the route will go will be determined after these extensive consultations are done, but ultimately we would envision this terminating in ports that would allow us to ship our energy around the world,” he said.
Scheer hammered away at other planks of the Conservative platform, including plans to scrap the carbon tax and repeal Bill C-69, legislation overhauling the federal government’s environmental assessment process.
A day after hundreds of thousands marched in climate strikes across Canada, Scheer also defended his party’s climate plan.
Independent analyses have shown the Conservatives would miss Canada’s current target under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, by more than 100 megatonnes.
Scheer dismissed critics, saying the Conservative plan was the most comprehensive put forward by a party in opposition.
“Our plan would allow Canada to export more of what we produce here at a lower rate of emissions,” he said. “By exporting our clean technology, advancements like carbon capture, we can do more to lower global emissions.”
Enlists support of Kenney
The Conservative leader then travelled north to Edmonton Centre for a rally outside the campaign office for James Cumming. The Conservative candidate will try to unseat Liberal Randy Boissonnault in a rematch of the 2015 election.
Scheer was introduced by Premier Jason Kenney, who compared the plan for a national energy corridor to the Canadian Pacific Railway, a comparison Scheer made earlier in the day.
“Why not be more efficient in how we build national infrastructure? This is how we built the CPR. This is how we built the country, and this is why [New Brunswick] Premier Higgs and I and other premiers have made this one of our top priorities,” Kenney told reporters.
Scheer accused Liberal leader Justin Trudeau of talking down Canada’s energy industry on the international stage and breaking a promise to balance the budget by 2019. Without naming names, he also accused Boissonnault of working with other Liberals on the House of Commons Justice Committee to cover up the SNC-Lavalin controversy.
He also took aim at the oil and gas industry protestors.
“Nothing drives me more crazy when I see people protesting Canadian energy taken out of the ground at the highest environmental standards,” he said.
“I see people chaining themselves to trees or laying down in front of bulldozers, but I don’t see them lining up and down the St. Lawrence protesting tanker after tanker of foreign oil coming into Canadian markets.”
Scheer made one more stop in Edmonton Mill Woods with candidate Uppal before flying to Saskatoon for a campaign event later Saturday afternoon.
The federal election is on Oct. 21.