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View Heather McPherson Profile
View Heather McPherson Profile
2020-02-25 19:56 [p.1562]
Madam Speaker, at the heart of this debate is one fundamental truth: We need a solution to the economic crisis gripping my province, we need an economy that supports Albertans and we need the UCP and the Liberal government to stop playing politics with the people of my province and get to work.
I am so tired of listening to this blame game in which not one member of Jason Kenney's government or the Prime Minister's Liberal government is actually working with Albertans.
Teck was never the solution to the crisis impacting my province. The Prime Minister knew that, and so does Mr. Kenney. Our energy sector plays an important role in our economy. The Alberta oil and gas sector has, for some time, been the economic engine that drives this country and has driven our province.
I am a fourth-generation Albertan. I am deeply proud of Alberta and our heritage, and I will proudly declare that I come from a long line of hard-working Albertans who have contributed to the oil and gas industry and have built our province and our country. It is for those Albertans that I am speaking this evening.
Our leadership has failed us. Not only have they failed to work with Albertans to diversify our economy and make sure Albertans were well placed for the 21st century, but they have told stories about it. We have been told that oil and gas is coming back like the past. We have been told that there is another boom just around the corner. We have been told that this project or that project will save us.
I am the daughter of an oil and gas worker. I have lived through the boom-and-bust industry in this province, and it not going to be coming back the way we had it before, full story. When the Conservative members of this House fail to acknowledge that, they are not doing justice to people in Alberta.
What we have not been told is there was another path forward. Norway has $905 billion saved up as a result of their energy royalties. We have saved $17 billion in our heritage fund. That is $905 billion to $17 billion. To top it off, Norway started saving in 1990. When did we start saving? It was 1976. I was four.
The Conservatives have given away our wealth. The Liberals have given away our wealth. The government has known for decades about greenhouse gas impacts and it has not done the saving and planning that we needed to do.
What is worse than that is the failure of our leadership to fight the most important crisis of our time, the climate crisis. We need deep investment in Alberta. We need to invest in Albertans. We need to give Albertans the jobs that they earned and deserve. We need to stop lying to them that there will be some sort of a renewal of oil and gas, that is is coming back to $95 a barrel, because it is not.
There are young people who live in my riding who go to the University of Alberta and King's University. These young people are looking to the future and are scared for their future because we are not addressing the climate change crisis and we are also not providing an economic opportunity for my province.
While the Liberals say we are doing enough and the Conservatives say we need to double down, nobody is fighting for Albertans. Nobody is trying to make sure there are jobs in my province for my people.
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