Questions of role in pipeline debate
How effective would formal city declaration be if it doesn’t have authority to do anything?
Councillor Jeromy Farkas released a lengthy notice of motion proposing a formal city council declaration of support for new pipelines and officially acknowledging that the oil price differential is a “crisis.” CHRISTINA RYAN/STARMETO A city councillor wants Calgary to make an official statement of support for Alberta oil and pipelines, but at least one expert questions how effective the move would be with limited municipal powers.
Ward 11 Councillor Jeromy Farkas released a lengthy notice of motion Wednesday that proposes making a formal city council declaration of support for new pipelines and officially acknowledging that the oil price differential is a “crisis.” He also wants to direct city administration to review the city’s “advocacy options,” including legal or policy moves or using city facilities and vehicles to spread “education” about the province’s energy industry.
“The mayor has spoken at great length about the importance of our oil and gas industry, but never have we formally recognized the fact that Calgarians are in crisis,” Farkas said. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and I think the city can play a role.”
Mount Royal University political science professor Lori Williams said it’s fair for council to discuss the issues Calgary is facing as a glut of oil production plagues Alberta, but the city doesn’t have much authority to do anything concrete.
“It’s not a matter of necessity. Clearly, it isn’t necessary. What really matters is what would be effective,” she said.