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This article was published 6/11/2019 (274 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Brian Pallister plans to cover a lot of ground on Friday, when he meets the prime minister in the first known face-to face meeting between Justin Trudeau and a western premier since last month's federal election.
Pallister said he would use his hour-long meeting with the PM to address a variety of issues, from crime and safety, health-care funding and Quebec's ban on religious symbols in the public service to delays in proceeding with projects, such as the Lake Manitoba outlet channel.
On Wednesday, Pallister pleaded for national unity and chided Trudeau for making a habit of "picking fights with premiers" during his first term in office.
Pallister accused the Trudeau Liberals of using "division as a tactic" to get re-elected.
"This prime minister, in the first term, made a habit out of picking fights with premiers — and during the election campaign, did as well," he said.
Pallister said he is concerned new federal legislation (Bill C-69), which overhauls the environmental regulatory process, will make it difficult to build a national pipeline that Alberta craves — and a channel designed to prevent flooding around Lake Manitoba.
"If you're going to have a process like the one we have right now, you're going to stand in the way of progress for people," the Manitoba premier said.
"We need to ensure that our processes are not just designed to delay things, but rather designed to be fair and balanced and, in some cases at least, get things done, get things built."
Pallister said Alberta's economy has been important to Canada's as a whole, and the western province is now hurting.
"The suicide rates among young men in Alberta are through the roof," he said, without citing a source. "You're talking about an incredibly stressful situation in the province of Alberta, that has provided revenues through tax payments to the rest of the country more consistently than any other jurisdiction."
Pallister has crossed swords with Trudeau on the implementation of a federal carbon tax. Manitoba decided to sue the federal government over the issue after abandoning its own carbon tax plan last year.
The premier did not cite climate change Wednesday as one of the priority topics he wants to discuss with Trudeau: "I might anticipate that that will be something the prime minister may want to address. I have to leave room for him to raise some topics. I can't just talk and not listen."
Pallister said he might have more to say about Manitoba's carbon tax lawsuit following his discussion with Trudeau. Meanwhile, the premier said, he will be curious to see what ideas the prime minister has to quell violent crime.
"I think it’s incumbent on all of us, not just governments, to make sure that we eliminate violence from our society," he said.
"The actions that governments take matter in this respect, so that’s why I’m looking for ideas from the prime minister and I suspect he’ll have others tasked with this responsibility because, as I said, it’s not isolated to Manitoba."
Pallister has long-called for a national meeting of first ministers with the PM to discuss health-care funding; he will raise the issue with Trudeau once again Friday.
The premier has been a vocal critic of Quebec's Bill 21, which forbids some government employees from wearing religious symbols at work.
— with files from Jessica Botelho-Urbanski
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.
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