Kevin Soren­son Re­ports

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE - Kevin Soren­son M.P. Crow­foot Con­stituency

Stand­ing Up for Al­berta En­ergy

In the first week of the 2016 Ses­sion of the House of Com­mons, the Con­ser­va­tive Party of Canada in­tro­duced a Mo­tion ask­ing that the Lib­eral govern­ment rec­og­nize the im­por­tance of the en­ergy sec­tor to the Cana­dian econ­omy and to sup­port re­source de­vel­op­ment in an en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able and eco­nom­i­cally re­spon­si­ble man­ner.

Thou­sands of Cana­di­ans are los­ing their jobs in the re­sources sec­tor. In de­fi­ance of this cri­sis, the Lib­eral Govern­ment has in­tro­duced reg­u­la­tions that will im­pede the Cana­dian en­ergy sec­tor from get­ting oil and en­ergy re­sources to mar­ket in the safest way pos­si­ble. In­stead of al­low­ing sci­en­tific ex­perts to make en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ments free from political over­sight, Prime Min­is­ter Trudeau is cen­tral­iz­ing the de­ci­sion mak­ing process in the PMO with­out proper pub­lic over­sight.

All projects al­ready go through an en­vi­ron­men­tal and com­mu­nity as­sess­ment process. The pre­vi­ous Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment re­moved lay­ers of de­ci­sion mak­ing so that projects would be judged on sci­en­tific ev­i­dence.

Cana­di­ans and Al­ber­tans in par­tic­u­lar, are alarmed at the Lib­eral govern­ment’s ap­par­ent flip­pant and dis­mis­sive con­duct when it comes to our coun­try’s en­ergy sec­tor. Fail­ing to ad­dress the down­turn in our en­ergy econ­omy shows a dis­re­gard for Cana­dian fam­i­lies who de­pend on the suc­cess of the sec­tor. Justin Trudeau has now launched searches for ‘so­cial li­censes’ that will de­lay pipe­line pro­pos­als and en­ergy projects that al­ready have sci­en­tific ap­proval. Fu­ture projects will face lengthy de­lays.

Th­ese new reg­u­la­tions mean that Canada is no longer open for busi­ness for many of our po­ten­tial over­seas cus­tomers. Th­ese new im­ped­i­ments send a ter­ri­ble mes­sage to the re­sources sec­tor and to in­vestors around the world. In the fu­ture, job cre­ators can ex­pect longer de­lays be­cause of th­ese added reg­u­la­tory hur­dles. The ef­forts and re­sources to be spent on se­cur­ing so­cial li­censes will open the gates on reg­u­lar and ex­panded political in­ter­fer­ence in the process. Any reg­u­la­tions that ex­ceed those of our Amer­i­can part­ners place Cana­dian firms at a com­pet­i­tive dis­ad­van­tage.

Our Mo­tion sim­ply asked that Lib­eral Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment ex­press their sup­port for the En­ergy East pipe­line pro­ject and to ac­knowl­edge the im­por­tance of the en­ergy sec­tor to our na­tional econ­omy. The Mo­tion ac­knowl­edged the role that sus­tain­able re­source de­vel­op­ment plays in cre­at­ing jobs, pro­vid­ing eco­nomic growth, and sup­port­ing hard-work­ing Cana­dian fam­i­lies. The Mo­tion was not a bind­ing mea­sure. It was de­signed to send a sig­nal to in­dus­try, to the men and women out of work and the in­vestors that in prin­ci­pal, Canada sup­port pipe­lines. The ben­e­fits of En­ergy East, for ex­am­ple, will stretch across the coun­try.

It was very dis­ap­point­ing when the Lib­eral Prime Min­is­ter whipped his cau­cus into vot­ing against our Mo­tion. The Lib­eral Govern­ment doesn’t un­der­stand the im­por­tant role the En­ergy Sec­tor plays for the Cana­dian econ­omy. It was dis­turb­ing to see govern­ment MPs un­able to even ac­knowl­edge the im­por­tance of Canada’s en­ergy sec­tor.

If you have any ques­tions or con­cerns re­gard­ing this or pre­vi­ous col­umns you may write me at 4945-50th Street, Cam­rose, Al­berta, T4V 1P9, call 780-608-4600, toll-free 1-800-665-4358, fax 780-6084603 or e-mail Kevin.Soren­

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