Alberta Premier Danielle Smith speaks at a press conference after members were sworn into cabinet in Edmonton, on Monday Oct. 24, 2022. Critics fear she is preparing to bring in a program that would use billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded royalty breaks to subsidize energy companies to fulfil their legal duty and clean up old wells. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — When the Alberta legislature resumed sitting Tuesday, the first bill introduced by the United Conservative Party government was one aimed at shielding the province from federal laws it deems harmful to its interests.

The Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act was a key promise from Premier Danielle Smith when she was running for the leadership of the party, replacing Jason Kenney.

Smith said Tuesday that past efforts to work with the federal government have not worked and Ottawa continues to interfere in constitutionally protected areas of provincial responsibility.

Here are four areas Alberta has accused the federal government of overreaching:


Last year, Kenney said that he hoped the Supreme Court of Canada decision upholding Ottawa’s right to levy a carbon tax on provinces wouldn’t open the door to federal overreach in other areas.

Alberta, along with Ontario and Saskatchewan, challenged the federal carbon pricing rules.

In its 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that climate change is a critical threat to the globe and that Canada cannot effectively combat it if each province can go its own way on greenhouse gas emissions.

Kenney’s government campaigned and won the 2019 election around a centrepiece promise to scrap the Alberta NDP consumer carbon tax and that was his first bill as premier, prompting Ottawa to impose its own levy at the start of 2020.

Smith, who was sworn in as premier last month, has said her government is planing another challenge.


The Alberta government, calling it a Trojan Horse, challenged the federal act and was supported by Saskatchewan and Ontario.

The Impact Assessment Act, given royal assent in 2019, lists activities that trigger an impact review and allows Ottawa to consider the effects of new resource projects on a range of environmental and social issues, including climate change.

Alberta asked its Appeal Court for a reference, or an opinion, which is not a binding decision and is used to guide governments in determining a law’s meaning or constitutionality.

In May, the Alberta Court of Appeal said the act is an “existential threat” to the division of powers guaranteed by the Constitution.


In September, the Alberta government said it was taking steps to oppose federal firearms prohibition legislation and the potential seizure of thousands of assault-style weapons.

Since May 2020, Ottawa has prohibited more than 1,500 different models of assault-style firearms from being used or sold in Canada. It has committed to establishing a buyback program to remove those firearms from communities.

Alberta Justice Minister Tyler Shandro said the province will not agree to have RCMP officers act as “confiscation agents” and will protest any such move under the provincial-federal agreement that governs policing.

Alberta also plans to seek intervener status in six ongoing judicial review applications challenging the constitutionality of the legislation.


The Alberta government, along with Saskatchewan, said in July that it was disappointed with Ottawa’s fertilizer emissions reduction target.

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has said reducing those emissions by nearly a third by 2030 is ambitious but must be accomplished.

In a news release at the time, the provinces said the commitment to future consultations is only to determine how to meet the target “unilaterally imposed” on the industry, not to consult on what is achievable or attainable.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2022.

The Canadian Press

News from © The Canadian Press, 2022. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0050 Pride Upkeep lawn
    0050 Pride Upkeep lawn
  • 0048 Hutts Trucking Safety
    0048 Hutts Trucking Safety
  • 0047 Estevan Oilfield Technical Society 2023
    0047 Estevan Oilfield Technical Society 2023
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0044 PTRC CCUS Aquistore
    0044 PTRC CCUS Aquistore
  • 0043 ALX ten sizes
    0043 ALX ten sizes
  • 0039 Summit ESP Saskatchewan lower third
    0039 Summit ESP Saskatchewan lower third
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0040 Southeast College safety tickets
    0040 Southeast College safety tickets
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0029 Latus Viro updated Latus phone
  • 0025 Kendalls
  • 0023 LC Trucking tractor picker hiring mix
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0019 Jerry Mainil Ltd hiring dugout
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0004 Royal Helium PO Ad 02
  • 9001
  • 0002