Calgary Mayor says he’s willing to help Trudeau bridge Western divide

Calgary Mayor and former Alberta Premier Naheed Nenshi says he’s willing to help bridge the current divide between Western Canada and the federal government.
Dylan Gibbons Montreal, QC

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he’s willing to help bridge the current divide between Western Canada and the federal government. However, he says that no job has been offered and that speculation over the possibility of his being appointed as a representative of Alberta in a federal cabinet is “silly.”

“No job has been offered, nor no job has been contemplated,” Nenshi told CTV’s Question Period in an interview aired Sunday. “Probably it’s wrong, but I am enjoying all this speculation because it’s so silly.”

Following the election, concern over Western representation in government has been steadily growing, as Conservative candidates, with the exception of one NDP candidate, swept both Alberta and Saskatchewan. This means that the Liberals lack a seat in parliament to represent either of the provinces and their interests.

Recently, Nenshi said he spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling #Wexit and separatist sentiment in Alberta “very real.”

“Of course the (Trans Mountain) pipeline has to get built, of course we need to re-examine Bill C-69 which my premier calls the No More Pipelines Bill, but is actually much more dangerous than that,” Nenshi said.

Neshi says that Bill C-69 will not only stifle the oil industry’s growth but will also make other infrastructure projects significantly more difficult in the province.

According to The Canadian Press, speculation over whether Nenshi will represent Western Canada was triggered by comments made by Trudeau following the election.

These comments came Thursday when Trudeau said he has no intention of forming a coalition government but does need to be more collaborative to bridge the regional gaps between Canadians.

Along with Nenshi, former Alberta premier Alison Redford has also been pegged as a possible Trudeau confidant and representative. In a CTV Question Period, she says that she would be happy to assist the Liberals in addressing Western representation at the federal level. However, like Nenshi, she has yet to be asked.

“I haven’t been asked. I am happy to help in any way,” she told CTV’s Question Period.

“This is something Canadians have been thinking about for a long time and I think the key is that there has to be a lot of voices at the table.”

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Dylan Gibbons
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