CALGARY — The fuse is lit for fireworks in Ottawa after a Liberal member of Parliament accused Alberta Premier Danielle Smith of making false claims days before Smith is slated to appear before a federal environmental committee.

Calgary MP George Chahal said Wednesday that Smith is spreading misinformation about the federal Liberal government's plans to bring Canada's electricity grid to net-zero.

"Over the past several months, the premier has actively worked to undermine and misinform Albertans," Chahal said in a press conference.

He pointed to Smith's claim that her decision to suspend new approvals for renewable power in the province was done at the request of rural counties, but Rural Municipalities Alberta has said it made no such request.

Chahal added that Smith's United Conservative Party government is keeping secret its own report on the costs of decarbonizing the electrical grid.

He called an $8-million ad campaign to sway Ontario voters against the federal proposal a partisan, ideologically motivated misinformation campaign.

"She is playing on peoples' fears by talking about blackouts," Chahal said.

He also called Smith's claims that utilities executives will face jail time if they don't meet federal emissions targets "ludicrous".

Chahal said the ad campaign and the renewables moratorium must end.

Alberta MP lambastes #Alberta Premier Danielle Smith for 'baseless,' 'ludicrous' statements on power generation. #cdnpoli #abpoli #CleanEnergy

Smith's office did not immediately respond to Chahal's statements.

She may have her chance next week.

In a letter, Smith has volunteered to appear Tuesday before the House of Commons environment and sustainability committee. Although the committee had invited the province's energy and affordability ministers, Smith said she would make Alberta's case herself.

"Given the significance of these issues, I will appear," the letter says.

The letter goes on to accuse Ottawa of spreading misinformation.

"The federal government has provided inconsistent and often misleading information about the flawed federal electricity regulations," she wrote.

The letter repeats her warnings about the impact of those regulations.

"The regulations will result in massive power bill increases for families and businesses and will make Alberta's grid unreliable."

Chahal said that since the UCP took power in Alberta, electricity rates have increased fivefold.

Independent experts in Alberta have said the federal proposals need tweaking, but called Smith's response to them "grandstanding."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 11, 2023.

Keep reading

Depressing analysis from all articles today.