CHARLOTTETOWN - It has been 78 days since Kathleen Wynne was re-elected as premier of Canada’s largest province, but she still has not spoken with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“It is disappointing to me . . . that that has not been a closer relationship. It’s a huge missed opportunity and I don’t think it’s good for the country,” Wynne said in an interview with the Star after the Council of the Federation meeting Friday.
“I would love to have a conversation with Prime Minister Harper and I’m sure that will happen,” the premier said.
“To be fair to him, I haven’t specifically asked for a conversation. He hasn’t been in touch with me . . . I think that is something that probably needs to happen fairly soon,” she said.
“Here’s the thing. No matter who’s the prime minister of Canada or who the premier of Ontario is, there should be a good working relationship. We’re the biggest province in the country. We need to have a working relationship with the prime minister of Canada.”
During the June 12 provincial election, Liberal Wynne aggressively campaigned against the Conservative prime minister.
She derided him because he “smirked” during a private meeting Dec. 5 in his Parliament Hill office and said people should save for their own retirement because he didn’t intend to enhance the Canada Pension Plan.
Wynne also hit the hustings with federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, holding large rallies with him in Toronto and Ottawa.
With a federal vote set for next year, the premier indicated she will be repaying the favour.
“There’s an election coming up. Obviously, Justin Trudeau and I worked together. I have a huge respect for him and I think that he’s a terrific leader,” she said.
“But I want to hear commitments from all of the leaders from all of the parties on the issues that are important to us. I want to hear what all of the parties are going to do on the Canada Pension Plan.”
Wynne said she last talked with Harper in March when he called and asked her not to weigh in on the April Quebec election lest that jeopardize eventual federalist winner Philippe Couillard’s chances against separatist incumbent Pauline Marois.
“It was during the Quebec election. That’s the last time I spoke to him,” she said, adding he sent her a brief congratulatory email after her victory.