Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, my heart goes out to all the Albertans that have lost jobs, including the 185 from TransCanada that we heard of today. The Premier said today that her intent is to get Albertans off the oil and gas roller coaster, but is it her intent to move them off the roller coaster and right into the unemployment line? With higher business taxes, a royalty review, a new climate change strategy, increasing the minimum wage in a downturn, reviewing the mandate of the Alberta Energy Regulator, it’s no wonder businesses are holding off on making new investments or even following through with the existing commitments they have today.
Just yesterday the Financial Post reported that the uncertainty surrounding Alberta’s policy on oil and gas royalties has already caused several companies to shift capital to other provinces, and this should come as no surprise. A securities analyst was quoted as saying that land sale activity, which is a key indicator for future drilling and investment intentions, is expected to increase in British Columbia and Saskatchewan in 2016-17 at Alberta’s expense.
I find it ironic that we keep hearing the government say that they need four, five, six months or maybe longer to conduct multiple reviews before they can bring down their budget, yet this same government expects Alberta businesses, who create many of the jobs in this province, to only have six days to change their budgets to accommodate the new policies.
Mr. Speaker, we’re not just talking about numbers. We’re not talking statistics. We’re talking about Alberta families. These families want to take care of their children and their aging parents. In order to do that, they need a job. When Albertans lose jobs, that goes far beyond politics. These are life-changing events caused by policies being rushed by this government without enough thought or consultation.
To the government: slow it down; protect Albertan jobs.
On June 23, 2015, Rick Fraser focused on the long-term impacts of energy policies on Alberta's families:
PC Caucus in the Legislature
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