Lakeland  M.P.  Denounces  the  Exclusion  of  Bruderheim  from  EI  Benefits  Extension

Lakeland  M.P.  Denounces  the  Exclusion  of  Bruderheim  from  EI  Benefits  Extension

 TWO  HILLS,  Alberta  –  Last  week,  the  Liberal  government  introduced  their  2016  Budget,  including  temporary,  targeted  changes  to  the  Employment  Insurance  (EI)  system  intended  to  help  hard-­‐hit  regions  of  the  country  experiencing  high  unemployment.    While  this  measure  is  a  temporary  fix  and  is  not  a  concrete  plan  to  create  jobs  and  to  grow  the  economy,  Edmonton  and  surrounding  areas,  including  Bruderheim,  have  been  excluded.      

“I  think  that  both  people  in  Edmonton  and  Saskatchewan  should  be  pleased  that  they  are  not  hit  as  hard  as  other  parts  of  the  country  and  indeed  the  province  have  been,”  Prime  Minister  Trudeau  said  in  an  interview  during  his  quick  stop  in  Calgary  on  Tuesday.  

Shannon  Stubbs,  Member  of  Parliament  for  Lakeland  and  the  Official  Opposition  Deputy  Critic  for  Natural  Resources,  stated  her  disappointment  in  the  poorly-­‐planned  EI  changes  and  the  flippant  attitude  of  the  Prime  Minister  towards  unemployed  Albertans.  

More  than  100,000  people  in  the  oil  and  gas  sector  lost  their  jobs  by  the  end  of  2015.  In  January  
of  this  year,  Alberta  lost  22,000  full  time  jobs.    The  unemployment  rate  in  Alberta  is  7.9%,  
higher  than  that  of  Quebec  for  the  first  time  in  nearly  thirty  years  –  the  highest  since  the  fallout  from  Prime  Minister  Pierre  Elliott  Trudeau’s  National  Energy  Program.    The  rapidly  escalating  unemployment  in  a  relatively  short  period  of  time  is  a  crisis  for  Lakeland  and  for  all  of  Alberta,  and  unemployed  workers  in  and  around  Bruderheim  are  no  exception.  

“We  know  that  rural  Canada  isn’t  on  this  government’s  radar,  but  suggesting  unemployed  
workers  should  be  pleased  that  they  don’t  have  it  worse  is  callous  and  short-­‐
sighted.      Bruderheim  is  in  the  centre  of  the  Industrial  Heartland  where  so  many  residents  have  been  directly  impacted  by  the  downturn  in  the  energy  sector,”  said  M.P.  Stubbs.    “People  in  Lakeland  often  tell  me  that  they  just  want  to  get  back  to  work,  but  if  the  government  is  going  to  make  this  support  available  to  hard-­‐hit  regions,  it  makes  no  sense  to  exclude  Bruderheim.”    

M.P.  Stubbs  also  expressed  serious  concern  with  the  Liberal  government’s  detrimental  
approach  to  the  Canadian  energy  sector  that  exacerbates  job  losses.  

“The  Liberal  government’s  failure  to  recognize  Bruderheim  as  a  town  in  the  heart  of  a  region  hit  
the  hardest  by  the  energy  downturn  is  symptomatic  of  a  larger  problem,”  said  M.P.  Stubbs.    “While  proponents  of  energy  projects  try  to  create  thousands  of  jobs,  the  Liberal  government  introduced  increased  layers  and  costs  to  the  regulatory  process  and  a  moratorium  on  crude  oil  tankers  on  B.C.’s  North  Coast.  They’ve  hired  anti-­‐energy  activists  in  key  senior  advisor  roles  and  hob-­‐knob  with  American  anti-­‐Canadian  energy  lobby  groups.  These  actions  undermine  confidence  in  the  energy  sector,  cause  widespread  uncertainty,  and  contribute  directly  to  job  losses  at  the  very  worst  time.”    

“Instead  of  increasing  job  losses  being  driven  by  the  sustained  drop  in  oil  prices,  this  
government  needs  to  reduce  red  tape  and  fiscal  burdens  on  the  energy  sector  by  advocating  for  diverse  export  markets  and  expediting  the  completion  of  critical  energy  infrastructure.  The  federal  government  needs  to  become  strong  proponents  for  Canada’s  world-­‐leading  energy  sector  by  consistently  countering  domestic  and  international  mischaracterizations  about  the  track  record  of  sustainable,  responsible  energy  development  and  regulation,  for  which  Alberta  
is  renowned.”  

M.P.  Stubbs  said  this  situation  epitomizes  the  problem  with  out-­‐of-­‐touch,  top-­‐down  decision-­‐ making  by  politicians,  political  staff  and  public  servants  in  Ottawa  who  are  not  familiar  with  local  and  regional  realities.    

Budget  2016  did  not  include  natural  resources  and  did  not  mention  the  oil  and  gas  sector.  In  fact,  contrary  to  their  election  promise  to  lower  the  small  business  tax  rate,  the  government  ignored  small  businesses  in  their  budget.    All  of  these  actions  escalate  the  domino  impact  of  the  job  losses  that  are  rippling  through  all  sectors  across  Canada,  and  make  things  so  much  worse  for  the  families,  workers,  businesses  and  communities  who  rely  on  energy  and  natural  
resources  development,  of  which  all  Canadians  can  be  very  proud,  and  from  which  we  all  
benefit.  

“Bruderheim  is  exactly  the  kind  of  tenacious,  self-­‐sufficient,  creative,  and  generous  rural  town  I  represent  right  across  Lakeland  that  punches  way  above  its  weight  economically,  where  the  work  of  the  residents  there  and  the  revenue  they  generate  contribute  to  increasing  the  standard  of  living  of  every  person  in  every  community  across  Canada,  and  have  done  so  for  decades.  It  is  not  too  much  to  ask  that  this  temporary  support  be  there  now  for  people  in  Bruderheim,  when  they  need  it  more  than  ever,”  M.P.  Stubbs  said.  

BIOGRAPHY  –  SHANNON  STUBBS  

Shannon  is  the  Member  of  Parliament  for  Lakeland,  and  Official  Opposition  Deputy  Critic  for  Natural  Resources.  
 
Shannon  has  a  diverse  professional  background  spanning  the  private,  not  for  profit,  political  
and  public  sectors,  at  both  federal  and  provincial  jurisdictions.  
 
As  a  Senior  Consultant  with  Hill  +  Knowlton  Canada  in  Edmonton,  Shannon  advocated  for  clients  across  the  health  and  pharmaceutical,  oil  and  gas,  not  for  profit  and  charity,  and  education  sectors  on  a  wide  range  of  government  and  public  relations  initiatives.  Prior  to  joining  H&K,  Shannon  worked  in  government  and  community  relations  in  the  Edmonton  office  of  SAIT  Polytechnic,  contributing  to  successful  advocacy  efforts  for  expansion  funding,  and  promoting  investment  and  public-­‐private  partnerships.  
 
Shannon  previously  worked  for  several  years  in  the  Alberta  public  service  in  both  the  Departments  of  Energy  and  Economic  Development.  In  the  Oil  Sands  Business  Unit,  Shannon  provided  policy  development,  research  and  communications  support,  led  the  organization  of  a  series  of  public-­‐private  workshops  on  transportation  infrastructure,  labour  needs,  royalties  and  taxation,  First  Nations  relations,  and  environmental  stewardship  in  Alberta’s  oil  sands  regions,  and  value  added  and  hydrocarbon  upgrading  development,  and  participated  in  cross-­‐ departmental  committees.  She  then  joined  the  International  Offices  and  Trade  Division  in  Alberta  Economic  Development  to  co-­‐lead  an  international  marketing  and  advocacy  project  for  Alberta’s  oil  sands  and  heavy  oil  technology,  supply  and  service  businesses,  helping  to  create  the  first  Alberta’s  Oil  Sands  and  Heavy  Oil  Guidebook  and  Directory.  That  project  received  a  Premier’s  Award  of  Excellence.  
 
Shannon  also  has  significant  experience  in  federal  and  provincial  politics,  having  worked  in  senior  roles  for  MPs  and  MLAs.  While  completing  a  Combined  Honours  B.A.  in  Political  Science  and  English  at  the  University  of  Alberta,  Shannon  interned  in  then  federal  Opposition  Leader  Preston  Manning’s  Ottawa  Office  in  research  and  communications.  She  focused  on  intergovernmental,  equalization,  democratic  reform  and  First  Nations  issues.  Shannon  participated  in  the  organizing  committee  for  Alberta’s  1998  Senate  elections  and  co-­‐hosted  the  Senate  nominee  election  day  in  Red  Deer.  Shannon  then  worked  in  the  constituency  office  of  former  Beaver  River  and  Edmonton  North  MP,  Deborah  Grey.  She  assisted  constituents  to  navigate  a  wide  array  of  federal  government  programs  and  to  resolve  issues  and  concerns  with  the  Canada  Revenue  Agency,  Citizenship  and  Immigration,  Employment  Insurance,  CPP  and  student  loans,  Aboriginal  Affairs,  and  other  areas.  
 
Shannon  has  been  a  lifelong  community  volunteer.  She  has  lived  in  Lakeland  most  of  her  life.  Raised  on  a  farm  near  Chipman,  Shannon  and  her  husband  Shayne  reside  on  the  family  farm  near  Two  Hills.      

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