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

Stettler Food Bank in solid shape thanks to community support

A hike in demand is expected in the coming months

UPDATED: Red Deer has nine active COVID-19 cases

Number of cases increased by 107 Friday

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

Staff at Stettler Auction Mart keeping busy despite pandemic restrictions

‘We have a lot of technology nowadays so it’s made it a little bit easier to deal with something like this, that’s for sure.’

Notley to stay on as Alberta NDP leader for 2023 provincial election

The NDP took almost all of Edmonton but few seats outside of the city

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

“My world exploded,” says Bentley-area farmer who’s swather was struck by a motorist

Dennis Duncan was a mile from home when his swather was struck by another travelling at high speeds

Local feral cat rescue looking for support

Bottle drive being held in Bashaw

UPDATE: Last kidnapping suspect arrested

Amber Knickle has been arrested and remains in police custody

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

Death of mother grizzly a ‘big loss’ for bear population in Banff park: experts

The bear, known as No. 143, spent most of her time in the backcountry of Banff

Most Read