Alberta's slowing economy and climate change were at the top of the agenda as Premier Rachel Notley met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the first sit-down between the two leaders.
Some federal Conservatives have been openly critical of initial moves taken by the NDP government, including the elimination of the provincial flat tax on income, but Ms. Notley said both leaders stuck to areas of common ground.
Pipelines were among the issues discussed at an hour-long meeting in a Calgary federal building Monday morning. While Ms. Notley does not share the Prime Minister's support for the Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast, both have advocated for the Energy East pipeline to New Brunswick and the expansion of a Kinder Morgan pipeline from Alberta's oil patch to Vancouver.
"Keystone is out of our hands at this point. We were talking more about Kinder Morgan and what the federal government can do to increase its investment in spill-recovery efforts in the waters around [British Columbia's] Lower Mainland," Ms. Notley said.
The recently elected New Democratic Premier said Mr. Harper did not flag her government's decision to double the provincial carbon tax by 2017, and he acknowledged Alberta's energy sector had anticipated the increase.
"I think it a bit of an overstatement to say the carbon level was an agree-to-disagree [area for us]," Ms. Notley said. "It was not my impression that that was a huge irritant for them."
According to Mr. Harper's office, both leaders discussed "maintaining a strong and growing energy sector and the respective roles of the federal government and the provinces on meeting Canada's 2030 climate targets."
While the Prime Minister did not speak publicly after the meeting, Ms. Notley reiterated her view that the province needs to move forward with tougher climate rules to ensure that energy exports can still access markets that are concerned about carbon emissions from the oil patch. Her Environment Minister has not ruled out putting a higher price on carbon.
Speaking with Conservatives at his annual Stampede barbecue on Saturday, Mr. Harper did not support plans put forward by opposition federal parties to tax carbon.
"Let the other guys explain their various carbon schemes. We Conservatives will continue to reduce emissions by standing for common-sense environmental regulation that doesn't come at the expense of jobs and our economy," he said.
One area where both leaders did not agree was on funding for flood-mitigation measures around Calgary. While the province has asked for $600-million to bulk up defences after the 2013 floods, Ms. Notley said Mr. Harper pointed to a $200-million fund shared by all provinces.
"Disaster relief is expensive; we need to move forward on it," she said.