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Alberta premier anticipates support at meeting

The Canadian Press logoThe Canadian Press 2018-12-06

Ontario Premier Doug Ford leaves an early morning PC Caucus meeting at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto on Thursday, November 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young © Provided by thecanadianpress.com Ontario Premier Doug Ford leaves an early morning PC Caucus meeting at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto on Thursday, November 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she'll have allies in the room to help push talks on the oil-price crisis at the upcoming first ministers meeting in Montreal.

She says she expects there will be support for her government's concerns because all provinces depend on a healthy Alberta economy to some extent for their schools, hospitals and roads.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to face criticism from premiers about the federal approach to pipelines, carbon taxes and oil prices — none of which are specifically on the agenda.

Speaking at the Edmonton airport before flying to Quebec, she noted that forecasts for Canada's economic growth are already more muted because of the low price Alberta is getting for its oil.

She also says she doesn't want to spend time listening to what the federal government says it is already doing to try to address the issue.

Notley says the first ministers need to talk about concrete ways to keep people employed and to keep Canada's economy prosperous.

In Ontario, Doug Ford's office says the Ontario premier is prepared to walk away from the meeting Friday if it does not include specific discussions on the carbon tax. Ford is set to meet with Trudeau in Montreal this afternoon.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to cabinet members about an 8.7 percent oil production cut to help deal with low prices, in Edmonton on Monday December 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson © Provided by thecanadianpress.com Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to cabinet members about an 8.7 percent oil production cut to help deal with low prices, in Edmonton on Monday December 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson Sources familiar with the dispute say Ford and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe have not been satisfied by the federal response that the first ministers meeting agenda already includes a discussion on economic competitiveness — a broad topic that Ottawa says will allow premiers to raise all the issues they please.

Ontario government house leader Todd Smith says the agenda doesn't deal with the concerns of the provinces, which include the carbon tax, a planned General Motors plant closure in Ontario and the oil-price crisis.

Federal officials have privately conceded that little headway is likely to be made on the official objective of the meeting: reducing interprovincial trade barriers.

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