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On Friday, May 31st, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney took to the podium at a downtown Calgary luncheon, where he spoke on the United Conservative Plan to renew investor confidence and bring “good jobs” back to the province.
“I am privileged to lead a government with an unprecedented democratic mandate,” he said to the crowd of some 360 people.
“We, as Albertans, are so blessed to be the inheritors of resources that have a global market value of well north of $16 trillion. That for me represents the hope not just for Alberta, but for Canada to ensure the highest quality of life and continue to be a beacon of opportunity for people from all around the world.”
“A series of government policies, together with a campaign of obstruction led by foreign-funded special interests have landlocked our energy. That is why within two-hours of being sworn in as premier, Minister Savage and I appeared before the Senate of Transportation Committee to add Alberta’s voice in the strongest possible terms to the prejudicial efforts of the federal government to ban our bitumen, [a product that is only produced] off of Canada’s Northwest Coast. And, I am pleased to see that committee heard our message.”
In a separate interview with CPC MP for Fort McMurray – Cold Lake, David Yurdiga, “we have a six-point pipeline plan, were we want to cancel the carbon tax, repeal Bill C-69 and the BC tanker ban, provide timelines for approvals, eliminate foreign interference on the approval process, and invoke federal jurisdiction when necessary. Our plan is to have a national energy corridor from the west coast to the east coast to better get our resources to market, which will mitigate the effects of the some 200,000 jobs lost in Alberta.”
In conjunction with the UCP’s plan to get pipelines built, the need to defend Alberta’s sovereignty against foreign funded special interests is crucial. With the UCP committing $30 million to funding their proposed energy “war room” to dispel misconceptions propagated by ENGO’s and to explore new markets for Alberta’s ethical oil—maintaining a stringent environmental record that is the envy of other oil-producing nations
Standing up for a fair deal in Canada is where the stance of the above conservative politicians lie. “To reinvigorate that economy, to get Alberta back to work, to restore investor confidence, [and] to demonstrate to Canada and the world that this province is open for business and is open for jobs.”
With Alberta losing billions in investment and tens of thousands of private sector jobs, predominantly in the oil and gas industry, Western Canada Select (WCS) found crude prices had partly rebounded to $53.25 a barrel in April 2019—a far cry, however, from the prices prior to the 2014 recession that hit Alberta.
While the 2015 market crash that decimated oil prices was no fault to Aberta’s predecessors, its ability to adapt in the aftermath was indicative of their overall apathy—none more than its mixed messaging with part of the NDP caucus defending sentiments hostile to Albertan energy behind closed doors.
From Notley opposing Keystone XL, citing concerns over “the Alberta Government’s ability to exercise it own levers,” to her albatross claim that Kenney planned to keep our oil in the ground, the cycle of baseless vitriol remained well into the end of the NDP’s tenure. More so in others under her tutelage.
During a constituency debate on April 2nd, NDP MLA Holly Heffernan stated her government was to “look towards less oil-based jobs.” To the chagrin of those in attendance, the efforts taken on environmental conservation involve rollbacks in Alberta’s most employable industry.
How about the infamous Shannon Phillips, who wrote instructions on how to blockade resource development, and, additionally, attended an anti-Northern Gateway protest in 2013 that was further damning given her opposition was firm “[firm], unequivocal, [and] without question.”
She was just re-elected by the slimmest of margins last election, as the MLA for Lethbridge-West and predecessor to the Environmental Minister.
Let’s not forget the NDP MLA for Edmonton – Beverly – Clareview Deron Bilous, who, as the Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Alberta claimed, “This klondike style, gold rush, bottom barrel prices, is killing Alberta’s environment”—a reductionist claim that a) fails to account for the 2019 rebound in oil prices, b) continued (wavering) interest in investing in our tar sands, and c) other environmental factors such as predator management that sorely need addressing.
Enough of the climate change alarmism. If a balanced, pragmatic balance is not suggested to better prioritize the economy and the environment, then perhaps the writing was always on the wall for the NDP’s Climate Leadership Plan.
With the Alberta NDP proposing a 67% tax hike on the carbon tax, from $30 to $50 a tonne, no additional rebates nor ‘green’ spending was budgeted. The repercussions of the aforementioned have dissuaded investors from injecting capital into the industry.
In 2019 alone, Canada is projected to lose 12,500 oil and gas jobs, with 9,600 of said loses coming from Alberta. PetroLMI attributes this to uncertainty shrouding the ability to get resources to market, low commodity prices, and a decline in capital spending.
“We saw billions of dollars leave our sector because of the uncertainty, with regulatory behaviours becoming more restrictive, and vitriol that more hostile,” says Yurdiga.
“BC tried to block our expansion of Trans Mountain and Energy East, while the federal government dropped the ball time and time again.”
Andrew Scheer’s desire to have every oil refinery in Canada exclusively use Canadian oil by 2030, speaks to the desires by both conservative governments to become more energy independent. “Canadians want change and we’re going to ensure that those pipelines are built and ensure we have healthier communities as a result of that.”
Both Kenney and Yurdiga are actively engaged in the efforts to combat the raging Alberta fires in the northern part of the province.