Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

‘I want to make you happy:’ Carr takes conciliatory tone with Calgary audience

MP appointed to be Prairies’ special representative after Liberals shut out of Alberta, Saskatchewan

The man appointed by the prime minister to be his special representative for the Prairie provinces took a conciliatory tone at a Calgary business luncheon on Tuesday.

Winnipeg Member of Parliament Jim Carr told the Chamber of Commerce that he understands he has his work cut out for him, especially in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“I know that my party and my government is not popular here. You don’t have to be a genius to figure that out,” he said to laughter from the audience.

“The reason we have this disconnect is that we’re not listening to each other and we in the government of Canada have to do a much better job,” he added.

“I think I have a reasonably good understanding of the anxiety, anxiety that’s produced by hardship — and it’s real.”

Carr was appointed in November after the Liberals were shut out of Alberta and Saskatchewan, losing two cabinet ministers, in the federal election. They also lost three seats in Manitoba.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has been demanding reforms to a federal fiscal stabilization program that tops up provincial revenues and has expressed concerns about new federal laws on environmental protection.

Carr previously served as natural resources minister and minister for international trade diversification — two portfolios especially top of mind on the Prairies, given struggles in the energy sector and ongoing trade disputes.

His new role is different.

“I want to make you happy,” Carr said when asked about his position.

“I am not a minister with departmental responsibilities … I have access to the prime minister. I will share what I’m hearing with him.”

Carr spent 45 minutes fielding audience questions that focused on major energy projects, including the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

He warned that future energy projects will always include consultations with Indigenous groups.

“If we don’t properly and meaningfully consult Indigenous peoples, there will be no major projects built,” he said.

“It’s a reality and that reality is being defined by courts, by politics, and it’s being defined by international thinking.”

Carr promised more respectful discussions between Ottawa and the provinces, but said not everyone is going to get all that they want.

KEEP READING: Elections Canada says Wexit Canada is eligible to run candidates federally

“No premier is going to get every single item on an agenda. Neither is any single mayor. The government of Canada has to factor in competing demands and make decisions that are in the national interest.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Active cases in central zone up Tuesday

Central zone active cases remains lowest of all zones

PHOTOS: Eckville graduates receive their diplomas, finally

Eckville Jr./Sr. High School held a socially distanced grad over the weekend

Central zone active cases down to 20

Province provides update

Gord Bamford serenades Sylvan Lake at sold out concert

Gord Bamford played for a sold out crowd at a drive-in concert Sept. 19 in Sylvan Lake

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Nearly 90 per cent felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19

RCMP say body located of man who fell in river during stop for photos in Banff

Parks Canada has said the man was from India and living in Canada on a work visa

Paper towel in short supply as people stay home, clean more, industry leader says

While toilet paper consumption has returned to normal levels, paper towel sales continue to outpace pre-COVID levels

Lacombe beekeepers give the buzz on winterizing hives

Winterizing a honeybee hive is not a simple task, local apiarists say

Six injured, man in custody following BB gun incident in Alberta, RCMP say

Airdrie’s downtown core was told to shelter-in-place, while others nearby were asked to stay inside

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read