While world oil prices begin to recover and people have the opportunity to go back to work in the oil and gas sector, Canadians are left on the sidelines watching while investment finds prosperity in other jurisdictions, taking employment opportunities with it.
Pipeline regulatory and approval delays have caused a noticeable lag in Alberta’s energy sector activity when compared to our neighbours to the south.
We can go around and around about the fact that the NDP did not clearly define that they would be imposing a tax on everything or to what extent they’d be imposing this taxation.
As much as we’d like investors to compromise, they’re ultimately like water where they choose the path of least resistance. The Alberta and Canadian governments are more interested in transitioning to renewable energy sources at breakneck speed through Legislative means, rather than developing the market organically. The economic calamity that naturally goes with over-subsidization and punitive market manipulation has proven time and again to create more problems than it solves and this is no exception.
The United States is Canada’s largest trading partner but unfortunately in many markets, they are also our biggest competitors. Our neighbour and competitor to the south has already taken major steps towards removing barriers that make our energy products cost-restrictive, while on our side of the border, we are piling on federal and provincial carbon levies and taxation. According to the only real true measure, the market, it appears that the NDP are creating further restrictive costs for producers which are not conducive to investment.
With the news out of the United States that they’re energy industry is beginning to recover, it’s clear that imposing additional costs to export industries drives investors to other jurisdictions that lack a carbon tax.
Part two of the Alberta government’s carbon tax comes with a massive 50% increase. This government has yet to report what exactly they have put year one’s revenue towards that has measurably reduced carbon outputs. The NDP are repeatedly unable to defend the introduction of their tax on everything when pressed for answers; instead, preferring to talk about the opposition. Their “go-to” preferred answer is to talk about the rebates that give some people back a fraction of what they’re actually paying out.
United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney has vowed to repeal the carbon tax if he is chosen the next Premier of Alberta, with his first piece of Legislation Bill 1, the Carbon Tax Repeal Act. Bill 1 will return Alberta to an even footing with other jurisdictions that right now are reaping the benefits of the energy price recovery.
The United Conservative Party is committed to giving Albertans a hand up not a hand out. By returning to an environment of economic opportunity that is not hindered by excessive government regulation and taxation, Alberta’s economy will let investors know it is willing to work with them to become their preferred investment destination.
Rick Strankman, MLA, Drumheller Stettler submits a regular column to the Stettler Independent and Castor Advance.