Premier Daniel Smith made energy policy a central focus of his sit-down interview with Tucker Carlson in Calgary on Wednesday. Since the event was announced, Smith has been criticized for his participation in the event.
Mr. Smith spent a brief 16 minutes on stage with the American conservative news personality in front of a crowd of more than 4,000 people, who responded to some of Mr. Carlson’s comments, including several rounds of standing applause. Agreed.
While Mr. Carlson pressed Mr. Smith on several hot topics, the Alberta premier followed a familiar stance in response to the four men arrested at the Coutts border crossing and the federal government’s environmental policies. .
Smith said she views the sit-down interview as an opportunity to speak to all types of media, and that she does not agree with the views of every outlet she speaks to. Her office pointed this out in November when the event was announced.
“I know there are representatives of the mainstream media here, but they will ask if I agree with everything you said… Let the world know how great Alberta is. I think that’s important to me,” Smith said, alluding to other conservative news organizations she works with.
Mr. Carlson also said he had dinner with Mr. Smith on Tuesday night.
“First of all, we had dinner last night and had a great time. And thank you for letting me, a first-class foreigner, ask the question,” Carlson said.
The event was held at the Telus Convention Center, where security was very tight, guests had to check their coats and no bags were allowed.
Mr. Carlson asked Mr. Smith for his thoughts on the four men arrested at the Coutts border crossing in 2022, charged with conspiracy to murder RCMP officers, and that he would “visit them in prison. “Does this send a powerful message?” he asked.
Smith said the Crown operates independently of the government and would defer to the courts, referring to a phone call with pastor Artur Pawlowski that led to her facing an ethics investigation during last year’s election. hinted.
“Some of you may know that I was on the phone with someone in a similar position, but what I learned is, what I can say is that the King operates independently; “It’s just that prosecutors have to make sure there’s a reasonable chance of conviction. They’re going to have to assess whether that’s the case,” Smith said.
“This is part of the journey we’ve all been on over the past year to understand how many restrictions we’ve had.”
Smith takes aim at federal environmental policy
The rest of the conversation turned to Alberta’s natural resources sector and green energy policy.
“It’s pretty cold and it’s not always sunny half the year, so I was surprised to find out there was a solar farm here. Really? That can’t be real,” Carlson said. I asked Mr.
Smith used the rest of the conversation to voice some of his frustrations with federal environmental policy and the recent cold snap that nearly sent Alberta’s power grid into rolling blackouts, prompting emergency warnings to require residents to shut off power. It was emphasized that the order had been issued.
She also encouraged Carlson to direct some of his anger toward federal Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault, who has become a key political target in her fight against Ottawa’s environmental policies.
“I hope you put Stephen Guilbeault in your crosshairs,” Smith said.
“Is he an engineer?” Carlson replied.
Towards the end, Carlson mused about doomsday scenarios for Alberta’s power grid as it relates to renewable energy, asking Smith: “On our current trajectory, we’re going to end up in Bolivia in terms of our power grid. Will it get better soon or will it get worse?”
Smith cited natural gas production capacity scheduled to come online later this year, including the 900-megawatt Cascade natural gas power plant. She added in her response that Alberta should “double” its oil and gas production.
Mr. Carlson repeatedly called Canada a dictatorship and said, “I’m here to liberate Canada.”
Carlson worked for Fox News from 2009 to 2023, gaining fame on the prime-time show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” The program was at one point the most-watched cable news program in the United States.
Carlson’s Fox contract ends in April 2023. Several reports cited his firing for his reporting on the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, for his personal messages criticizing Fox management, and for expressing racist views. associated with the text.
Carlson posted a video on Instagram on Monday showing him calling federal media and telling them, “We’re here to liberate Canada, and we’ll be there soon.”
Last year, Carlson made a documentary-style film asking whether the United States should liberate Canada, but the film was shelved after being fired by Fox News. The trailer centered around Canada’s response to COVID-19, which Carlson interpreted as “tyranny,” and Carlson had previously called Canada a dictatorship.
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Since being ousted, Carlson has launched a show on “X” where he speaks out against the killing of George Floyd, defends Vladimir Putin and talks about the white supremacist conspiracy theory “The Great Successor.” has supported far-right topics, including joining the White Americans, he argues, are being replaced through immigration.
Some of Mr. Carlson’s main focuses, such as blaming immigrants for Canada’s health care and housing problems, were hosted by Brett Wilson, in which Mr. Carlson and Canadian psychologist and conservative media personality Previously discussed at an event with Jordan Peterson.
Smith previously defended his decision to appear with Carlson
Several current and former Alberta politicians have publicly opposed talks between Carlson and Smith. Following Tuesday’s violence at Edmonton City Hall, in which guns were fired and Molotov cocktails thrown into the building, former Alberta cabinet minister Thomas Lukashuk called on Smith to cancel the event.
Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley said in November that Carlson is “not someone you can trust.”
“The fact that our Prime Minister believes it is appropriate to normalize what this person has to say by appearing on stage with her shows a gross lack of judgment on her part. There is.”
Smith’s office said when his participation in the event was announced that Smith was “committed to sharing Alberta’s message with as many people as possible, whether they’re from Alberta, Canada or around the world.” “We aim to do so,” wrote spokesperson Sam Brackett, defending her decision.
“The Prime Minister has participated in a variety of public and private events and given interviews with dozens of reporters, broadcasters and podcasters across the political spectrum,” he wrote. “Obviously, she doesn’t accept all the opinions of all the interviewers and reporters she interviews, whether it’s the CBC, the Toronto Star, or Tucker Carlson.”