Prairie premiers’ fears about Lametti comments have ‘no grounding in truth’: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is accusing prairie premiers of distorting the words of his justice minister after comments David Lametti made at a meeting of Assembly of First Nations chiefs last week.

Lametti told the meeting he would commit to “looking at” federal-provincial natural resource transfer agreements, after some chiefs called for Ottawa to repeal the law that gives the four western provinces control over resource development.

The premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba released a joint statement asking Trudeau to “immediately retract these dangerous and divisive comments,” saying the agreements are fundamental to the provinces’ economic autonomy.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs praised what they took as Lametti’s commitment to review the law.

Lametti later said that he only promised to listen to Indigenous partners, and did not commit to reviewing areas of provincial jurisdiction.

Trudeau said at a news conference in Winnipeg that the federal government knows knows it needs to move forward on reconciliation, but premiers are elevating “fears that have no grounding in truth.”

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