Recent news regarding the Keystone XL pipeline and vaccine rollout has many Albertans worried, and I would like to shed light on why there are still reasons to be optimistic.
Alberta’s government is making targeted investments to prepare our province for the economy of the future while supporting the industry that continues to be the bedrock sector of our provincial and national economy, Alberta’s innovative oil and gas sector.
Unlike our critics, we know that preparing for the jobs of tomorrow doesn’t have to include policies with detrimental impacts on the jobs that exist today.
We will continue to fight for Alberta’s responsible energy industry, and for the 59,000 jobs the Keystone XL pipeline would create, but it’s time for our federal government to do their part.
When the previous U.S. administration threatened to rip-up NAFTA and impose tariffs on Canadian exports of steel and aluminum, our federal government fought back and reached an agreement that benefited both nations.
Oil workers in the Camrose Constituency are proud Canadians who have contributed generously to our national economy for generations and they deserve a federal government that will fight as hard for their jobs as they did for metal workers in Southern Ontario.
Alberta’s government is calling on the Canadian government enter a respectful dialogue with Biden administration about energy, the environment, and how Keystone XL can operate in this context. If the Biden administration refuses to open the door to a constructive dialog then the government of Canada must impose trade and economic sanctions to defend our country’s vital economic interests.
With a record $10 billion in job creating infrastructure projects, the most attractive environment for new business investment in Canada, and the acceleration of economic diversification, Albertans can be confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Diversifying our energy industry is key to creating good-paying jobs and careers to get excited about in the future. The Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program (APIP) is one of the key pillars of the Natural Gas Vision and Strategy, which outlined the province’s goal of becoming a top global producer of petrochemicals.
According to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, there is an opportunity to grow Alberta’s petrochemical sector by more than $30 billion by 2030, resulting in more than 90,000 direct and indirect jobs over the construction and operations of new facilities, and more than $10 billion in revenue for the Government of Alberta from corporate and personal income taxes.
Alberta has also entered into an agreement with three other provinces to explore emerging, small-scale nuclear technology that could lower emissions and help diversify the energy sector.
This new and versatile technology could supply non-emitting, low-cost energy for on-grid and off-grid communities in Alberta, including remote and rural areas of the province, as well as industries with a significant need for steam, such as Alberta’s oil sands.
These exciting projects are all part of a plan to support Albertan jobs today and long into the future.
Alberta has already demonstrated that we can lead Canada in vaccine distribution, and this should be cause for optimism for everyone in our province despite setbacks by the federal government. Once Ottawa secures stable supply of the vaccine, we can begin putting Alberta back on track towards leading Canada in re-opening and recovery.