REGINA – A Conservative senator from Saskatchewan says a power outage in Regina is a “preview of Canada‘s future” if Justin Trudeau is re-elected prime minister.
The comment was made Saturday in a post on the Twitter account of Sen. Denise Batters.
The tweet says a major power outage in the city’s southeast is a sign of what’s to come if Trudeau “continues to implement his terrible anti-energy industry agenda.”
The post also references the carbon tax and proposed legislation to overhaul assessments of major energy projects and limit oil tankers off the northern coast of British Columbia.
Batters is a vocal opponent of the federal Liberal government’s energy policies and has appeared with other Conservative leaders at pro-pipeline rallies.
When asked to further explain the tweet on Monday, a spokeswoman for the senator said she had nothing to add. The press secretary for federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said the same.
SaskPower did not comment on the tweet from Batters but said Saturday’s outage was a result of an issue with a major transformer in the area. About 7,000 customers were impacted.
“Approximately one-third of unplanned outages are caused by equipment failure, with weather events and wildlife accounting for the other two-thirds,” spokesman Jordan Jackle said Monday.
Crews restored power to the area within three hours and made repairs to the transformer on Sunday, he said.
Saskatchewan’s Minister of Environment, who is also responsible for SaskPower, said Ottawa’s decision to phase out coal-fired electricity has created challenges when it comes to the supply plan for the province’s grid.
“SaskPower is doubling the percentage of renewable electricity generation capacity by 2030, while at the same time increasing its overall generation capacity to meet the demands of a growing province,” Dustin Duncan said in a statement.
“I’m confident SaskPower will be able to deliver reliable, cost-effective and sustainable power into the future.”
An economics professor at the University of Regina who teaches climate change policy said it seems Batters is drawing a link between power outages and “climate action.”
“I think that is an unfounded and misguided concern,” Brett Dolter said in an email.
Energy transitions need to be made in order to stabilize the climate and electrical utilities spend a lot of time and money ensuring they have a reliable power supply, he added.
Batters has landed in hot water for other Twitter posts.
Last year, she apologized to Liberal member of Parliament Omar Alghabra after saying he should be asked whether his background in Saudi Arabia impacted his work as parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs when it came to a dispute with the kingdom.