Loss of en­ergy jobs a dis­as­ter for Alta. NDP

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Opinion -

ED­I­TOR:

With over 100,000 jobs lost in the en­ergy sec­tor, thou­sands of busi­nesses clos­ing shop, and gov­ern­ment that doesn’t seem to lis­ten or ef­fec­tively ad­dress the cri­sis in many com­mu­ni­ties and house­holds, it’s no won­der we are see­ing record-set­ting protests, resur­gent talk of Al­berta sep­a­ratism, and in­creases in the sui­cide rate among young Al­ber­tans.

The most re­cent con­voy to take place on Wed­nes­day demon­strates the frus­tra­tion and help­less­ness that is be­ing felt in Al­berta.

When I talk with peo­ple they feel like no one cares, and even worse that some­how Al­berta de­serves such prob­lems.

Canada prides it­self on open­ing its doors to the less for­tu­nate and help­ing those in need.

But, Al­ber­tans feel like in their time of need, cer­tain el­e­ments are be­ing, well, un-Cana­dian.

Peo­ple for­get that we have mort­gages, fam­i­lies, and lives, just like all Cana­di­ans do.

We’re frus­trated be­cause this sit­u­a­tion isn’t just about Al­berta, it’s about the well­ness of all of Canada.

If Bill C-69 is passed as pro­posed, this bill will hand­cuff Al­berta’s en­ergy in­dus­try and throw away the keys.

Killing the bill though will leave Canada with no for­mal process for pipe­line re­view and ap­proval, fur­ther shak­ing in­vestor con­fi­dence and as­sur­ing that no en­ergy in­fra­struc­ture will be pro­posed for years to come.

Al­berta is for­tu­nate to have smart, thought­ful sen­a­tors like Doug Black and Paula Si­mons in the Up­per Cham­ber fight­ing for our best in­ter­ests. We en­cour­age all Al­ber­tans to stand up and sup­port the work they are do­ing.

My­self and our Al­berta Party team are com­mit­ted to Al­berta, and we hear and feel your pain, frus­tra­tion, and even anger.

As chal­leng­ing as things are right now, know that our best days are ahead and we’re here to help lead.

With that in mind, we have re­quested an ap­pear­ance be­fore the Se­nate com­mit­tee re­view­ing this bill to pro­pose a con­struc­tive set of amend­ments to get this bill fixed and give Al­ber­tans, and thus all Cana­di­ans hope for a brighter fu­ture.

There are too many deaf ears and not enough vi­sion­ary lead­er­ship and it’s time our politi­cians come to the ta­ble with con­struc­tive so­lu­tions to get the job done.

I look for­ward to keep­ing you up­dated in the New Year.

STEPHEN MAN­DEL IS THE AL­BERTA PARTY LEADER

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