Mr. Speaker, the key topic of conversation amongst all Albertans today is jobs, jobs, and jobs. With today’s announcement of a further 220 job losses in Grande Cache on top of 40,000 jobs already lost in the economy, many arguably due to the economic picture painted by this government, Albertans are increasingly concerned about the policies that attack the rapidly disappearing Alberta advantage.
Today coal mining and coal-fired electricity generation industries and their employees, investors, and stakeholders deserve our attention. With over 5,600 jobs directly engaged in coal extraction and related electricity generation, Alberta stands to be a big loser in a dogmatic approach to coal-fired generation plants. Job losses, loss of mining and industrial capacity, and handicapping of not only the low-grade but metallurgical coal industry need to be looked at along with the unintended consequences of misguided policy driven by hard-line, often externally funded environmental interests.
Alberta needs stable and reliable electricity generation, and we need to be cognizant of unstable or inadequate supply in the price of electricity and the impact on both consumers and industrial customers. Recent studies indicate staggering job losses are the likely result of poorly planned shutdown policies associated with this issue. Another consideration which speaks to investor confidence in Alberta and the re-establishment of the Alberta advantage is the cost associated with shutdown versus a more prudent and logical dial up, dial down approach to coal-fired electricity.
Mr. Speaker, this is a key issue.
On November 3, 2015, Richard Gotfried proposed a responsible approach to coal phase-put in Alberta.
PC Caucus in the Legislature
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