By Jason Nixon, United Conservative House Leader
Rachel Notley has sure been changing her lines a lot these days.
I remember, on May 29, when the Premier, with her entire caucus standing behind her, guaranteed us, “The Trans Mountain expansion project is more certain than ever.” She followed it up with this self-congratulating promise: “We said we would get the pipeline built and we are getting it built.”
Strong words, Madame Premier. With statements like those, you could be forgiven for being puzzled that, just a few months later, we heard that construction would not begin, the pipeline approval was overturned and now, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are pursuing Bills C-69 and C-48 that will ensure no pipeline is ever built in Canada again.
Things have gotten so bad that, on August 30, Premier Notley said rather bluntly, “The current state of affairs in Canada right now is such that building a pipeline to tidewater is practically impossible.”
It seems that instead of offering Mr. Trudeau a gift, namely the largest tax increase in Alberta history in the form of her unilaterally imposed carbon tax, Ms. Notley should have been opposing the federal government’s long-term war on our energy producers. Let’s not forget, this is the Prime Minister who promised us all that he would “phase-out” the oil sands. This is the Prime Minister that gladly killed two other national pipeline projects, without a word of objection from the Notley NDP. This is the Prime Minister who condemns Saudi Arabia for murdering a journalist, but then offers them billions of dollars a year by importing Saudi oil, and refuses to allow Canadians to buy Canadian energy.
Indeed, the Trudeau record on pipelines is clear: he doesn’t want a single one built in this country. What’s alarming is that Ms. Notley only seems to be realizing this now. So, she put on her angry face, stormed out in front of a crowd of cameras, and declared that Alberta wouldn’t raise it’s carbon tax to meet federal requirement…in 2022. Until then, she seems happy to follow along with Mr. Trudeau’s agenda, happily charging Albertans a job-killing tax on everything. So now, our heating bills, grocery bills, and fuel bills are all getting higher, and what do we get?
Nada. Zip. Nothing.
But wait! Just as the federal Liberals are about to force Bills C-69 and C-48 through the senate, Notley has finally dispatched her Environment Minister Shannon Phillips to Ottawa. Why? To voice consternation with two bills that passed the House of Commons without a whisper of concern from the Notley crew. Puzzling that Ms. Phillips would say that C-69 is “too important to get wrong” but offered a grand total of zero suggestions when the Bill was actually being debated by the elected government.
So, in the face of these half-measures and inaction, your United Conservative opposition has brought forward a motion to have an emergency debate on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. We want to stand united, as Albertans, to make sure the federal government knows this is unacceptable.
We want to have a clear plan of action to restore investor confidence in the Alberta energy industry. We want to have a clear plan of action on getting our energy products to market at a fair price. We want a clear plan of action to get a pipeline built in Canada.
For the first time, it would seem, the NDP have begun to realize the importance of this no-more-pipeline bill crisis because they accepted our motion and on Monday, the Legislative Assembly spent the afternoon debating this important topic. We look forward to continuing our advocacy for Albertans who want fair market access for the resources they own.