In his first in-studio interview in 16 months, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined Red FM Calgary host Rishi Nagar to discuss the possibility of a Federal election this year.
But Trudeau assured Nagar that recent investments in Alberta do not indicate his government is in an “election campaign mode.”
“It [These investments] shows we are getting things done,” said Trudeau. “Everyone knows this past year has been very difficult, and we’ve been really focused on supporting people through this pandemic, but at the same time, we’ve been working on how to rebuild our economy better.”
Recently, the federal government announced $1.5 billion in funding for Calgary’s long-delayed green line as part of its local public transit, and $222 million in Alberta’s Rent Supplement Program to aid low-income families across the province.
“Having strong Liberal voices in our caucus and around the cabinet table was key to getting big things done for Alberta,” said Trudeau. “Buying the TransMountain pipeline and getting it built happened because we had Amarjeet Sohi around our cabinet table... We know elsewhere across the country there wasn’t a strong consensus around moving forward on that, but it was important for us and we heard directly how important it was for Albertans.”
Nagar moved forward to discuss the “extreme climate events” Canadians have experienced in recent years, including the freak hailstorm last year in northeast Calgary, and the record-breaking heatwave in late June.
“Albertans are beginning to understand that the debate over climate change is somewhat settled. We’re seeing the impacts of extreme weather events… and it’s going to continue,” said Trudeau. “We need to be doing the kinds of things that will slow down climate change.”
He said his government is preparing the country for the future, such as implementing the national price on carbon.
“The energy sector workers in this province need to continue to have good jobs, but the sector is transforming. We’re going to be moving towards more renewables, towards hydrogen, more carbon capture and storage. The kinds of world-cutting innovations that are necessary.
"There's a tremendous opportunity in the fact that some politicians here in Alberta have been fighting against even recognizing that climate change is real has slowed down Alberta's ability to prepare for the economic future and the jobs of the future," said Trudeau.
"It’s not a choice between good jobs and the environment."