By BRIAN JEAN, Wildrose Official Opposition and MLA of Fort McMurray-Conklin
It has been heartbreaking to watch friends and neighbours lose work.
In order to secure Fort McMurray as a healthy home for families for generations to come, we must ensure our government passes policies that are in the best interest of our energy industry – our number one jobs sector.
We all know the NDP government cannot control the price of oil. It can, however, control the way it reacts to falling commodity prices, by passing policies that support Alberta families when times are tough. Needless to say, I’ve been very disappointed in our government on that front.
Take for example the NDP’s $3 billion carbon tax. With 65,000 jobs lost and counting, this new carbon tax will raise the price of everything, and put jobs at risk across the province. It will make every family poorer when they’re already hurting, by picking around $1,000 annually out of their pockets.
We know this will do extra damage to families here in Fort McMurray, where the cost-of-living is high, and where many are out of work or have seen their overtime hours cut.
It’s these hardworking men and women who are not seeing their interests protected by either our provincial or federal government.
Worst of all, Premier Notley promised her carbon tax grab would give us “social license” to build pipelines – pipelines we desperately need
Worst of all, Premier Notley promised her carbon tax grab would give us “social license” to build pipelines – pipelines we desperately need. But since her $3-billion tax was slapped on the backs of families, we’ve seen the door slammed shut on Keystone Xl, Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan’s Tran Mountain expansion, and most recently, we saw a group of politicians from Quebec stand up against Energy East (I guess they forgot they’ve taken over $73 billion in equalization over the last decade, thanks in large part to the energy industry).
It’s shameful that at a time when Albertans are down and out, and losing their livelihoods, Premier Notley is refusing to stand up for our number one jobs sector – a sector that’s supported the Canadian economy for years.
Higher business taxes, higher personal taxes, the ongoing royalty review, and other poorly thought out economic policies have also exacerbated the problems low oil prices have caused.
Wildrose is the only party fighting for pipelines in every direction. We are proposing lower small business taxes, tax relief for families, stable royalties, a provincial jobs summit, and we’re fighting to tell the truth about our energy industry – an industry that has a better environmental and human rights record of any energy-producing nation in the world.
Saskatchewan’s stable royalty structure is courting billions in energy investment, even in this downturn. There’s no reason we can’t do the same.
Fort McMurray will get through this. I know as well as anyone how strong and resourceful we are as a people, and how vital our energy industry is to Alberta and Canada. Now, we need to make sure the NDP do too.
– Connect Weekly –