By Rick Strankman MLA Drumheller Stettler
Alberta is blessed with some of the highest quality and volumes of natural resources that can be found anywhere on earth. Alberta’s energy wealth has also been Canada’s blessing by way of equalization that relies heavily on fossil energy revenues.
Our energy sector produces some of the most ethical product available in the global marketplace; yet we’re told we must pay more to attain a social license. Alberta’s energy has effectively been land-locked, which has resulted in net to producer prices that are half of what our US neighbours are getting for their energy products.
Recent actions by British Columbia NDP Premier John Horgan makes it appear that the social license Albertans have been shelling out for in the form of a carbon tax has no credibility or effective ability to gain market access in his jurisdiction. The B.C. premier seems intent on creating further delays and obstructions to the Kinder-Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and other critical infrastructure projects that employ tens of thousands of Albertans.
Alberta is facing what can only be described as unnecessary economic hardship that has been orchestrated by our own government’s creation of a job-killing carbon tax that has yet to produce any net positive results. The carbon tax was marched out as the key to Alberta’s economic future by opening doors to markets that were otherwise inaccessible. Those doors will remain closed until pipelines are built.
The approval of pipelines is not something that should ever become a rubber-stamp process; but it also cannot become an endless mountain of regulatory burden and unnecessary delays. The health of Alberta and Canada’s economy is reliant on the health of our industries and their ability to get their products to market. The actions, and in some cases the inactions of varying levels of government, have not been in the best interest of anyone in Alberta and Canada.
The ease with which regulatory approval and construction delays can be achieved has become a politicized quagmire created by special interest groups and their political facilitators.
Premier Horgan is justifying this latest delay so that yet another government sponsored panel can study the project. Politically motivated delays cost our economy billions of dollars across this country each year, which ultimately is felt in every industry and consequently every home directly and indirectly.
Alberta Premier Notley, Premier Horgan, and Prime Minister Trudeau need to do what’s right for their constituents across this country and get these pipelines approved and our products moving.
As your representative in the Alberta legislature, I will continue to advocate for Alberta’s economy and resources.