Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks to media after meeting with private sector economists, in Toronto on February 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Premiers’ demands on environment bills an ‘unhelpful’ threat to unity: Morneau

Premiers demand feds to change two bills on the verge of being passed in Parliament

The federal Liberals say it’s conservative premiers who are putting Canada at risk in a fight over oil and the environment.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says in a letter to six right-leaning premiers Friday it’s “unhelpful to threaten national unity” if their demands to change two bills on the verge of being passed in Parliament aren’t met.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney urges feds to scrap oil tanker ban bill on B.C. north coast

The premiers of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories wrote to the prime minister Monday urging him to amend or abandon bills restricting tanker traffic on part of B.C.’s coast and overhauling the federal environmental-assessment system for major construction projects.

The premiers said changes to the bills are needed to “avoid further alienating provinces” and “focus on uniting the country.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the premiers of playing games with national unity to pursue their policy goals.

The written response from Morneau says the changes the premiers want would compromise Canadians’ health and jobs, infringe Indigenous people’s rights and harm endangered species.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Old Timers Tournament begins its third decade of action in Prince Rupert

Rupert teams take on visitors from Haida Gwaii, Kitimat, Terrace, Hazelton and Smithers

Freezing rain warning issued for central Interior Remembrance Day

Highway alerts in place for Begbie Summitt and Pine Pass

Rainmakers rugby makes the trip to Kamloops for Sevens tournament

Competition is the largest of its kind in the country

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

Young athletes showing strides at Minor Basketball Mid Season Tourney

Plenty of progress since kids took to the court earlier this fall

Heart of Our City | The humble automotive mechanic next door

Frank Repole has been sponsoring Prince Rupert his whole career

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Zombie debt will haunt more Canadians as scourge of indebtedness rises: experts

Total debt per consumer has surged to $71,979 in the second quarter

Most Read