REGINA—Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says the federal election results confirm there’s a fire of frustration burning in Western Canada and it’s time for a “new deal” with Ottawa.
Moe is renewing his calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cancel the federal carbon tax, to rework the equalization formula, and to get oil pipelines built to open up international markets.
The Liberals secured a minority mandate in Monday’s vote, but did not retain a single seat in Saskatchewan or Alberta.
Moe likens his plan to a fire extinguisher and says it’s up to Trudeau to douse western Canadian frustration.
The premier, who says he’s a frustrated federalist, also rejects criticism that his own tone is stoking division.
“The path our federal government has been on the last four years has divided our nation,” Moe said in a statement Tuesday. “Last night’s election results showed the sense of frustration and alienation in Saskatchewan is now greater than it has been at any point in my lifetime.”
The Conservatives won 14 out of 14 seats in Saskatchewan. Liberal veteran Ralph Goodale, who had held his Regina Wascana seat for more than 25 years and was respected across party lines, was swept out.
In Alberta, the Conservatives won 33 out of 34 seats. The Liberals lost the three seats they held in the province. Only the NDP was able to keep its one seat in Edmonton.
Speaking in Regina Tuesday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he believes in Canada as a whole, but he hears the frustration coming from both provinces.
“We will fight for you. We will do everything we can to make sure that this Liberal government understands that it has to change course,” he said. “It cannot continue to attack our energy sector.”
Moe said Trudeau must fulfil the demands of the two provinces if he is serious about reaching out to the West.
“Last night, Prime Minister Trudeau stated to Saskatchewan and Alberta: ‘I’ve heard your frustration. I want to be there to support you,’” Moe wrote.
“Those are nice words, but we need action, not words.”
Moe said he is ready to meet with Trudeau at any time to discuss the issues he has raised.
“Prime Minister, you said you heard our frustrations and want to support us. We are ready for you to prove it.”