May 25th, 2019

Kicking Alberta workers while they’re down

By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on December 7, 2018.

At the G20 summit on the weekend the prime minster talked about the so-called “social impacts” that male construction workers have on rural areas.

He suggested that hard-working, blue-collared men are dangerous and a threat to the well-being of rural communities.

We happen to have a lot of those men in the riding of Lethbridge, so let’s talk about the real “impacts” they have.

They leave tips for our servers, barbers and drivers.

They fill up their trucks at our gas stations, buy coffee at the local Tim Hortons, and get their work clothes from Park Place mall.

They take care of their families, pay their taxes and build the roads, bridges, schools and hospitals that we rely on each and every day.

Many of these men have lost their jobs in the oil and gas industry and have been forced to re-start their lives. They’re not asking for a handout, just a little respect from the prime minister.

Signing off on one or two pipeline projects wouldn’t hurt either. The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion seems like a reasonable place to start.

While Trudeau is committed to demonizing the oil industry and those working within it, the fact is, Canada’s oil and gas sector has created high-quality, good-paying jobs for Canadians from coast to coast for decades.

But the creation of jobs isn’t the only reason to build the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Canada needs pipelines because we are competing with countries around the world to be the first to find a buyer for our product.

There are only two methods for shipping large quantities of oil across the country: trains or pipelines. It not only costs more to ship oil by train, but it’s also more dangerous than using pipelines. The odds of a train spilling oil vs. a pipeline leaking are 4-1. However, due to inadequate pipeline supply, the use of trains to transport oil has skyrocketed.

Pipelines are the most environmentally responsible way to transport our commodity to market and generate revenue, which results in provincial and federal tax dollars. Those tax dollars are what pay for the hospitals we visit when a loved one is ill, the schools our children attend, and the roads on which we drive.

Two weeks ago, when Trudeau landed in Calgary to speak to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, he was confronted by more than 2,000 protesters calling on him to “build that pipe.”

You’ll recall that the prime minister spent more than $4.5 billion from the taxpayers’ purse to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and promised that this type of government interference would allow for construction to begin immediately.

To borrow from a famous Elvis Presley song, “well, that was just a lie.”

As a result of Trudeau’s failure, thousands of Canadians have lost their jobs and reports indicate that Alberta’s oilpatch is losing $80 million per day. Imagine the number of schools, hospitals, roads and bridges that could be built from the tax revenue generated from getting our commodity to market!

It’s no wonder the prime minister was met by thousands of protesters chanting “build that pipe.” Canadian taxpayers, particularly Albertans, are living in uncertainty, bracing for layoffs and anxiously waiting for Trudeau to resolve this crisis.

During this devastating time, my Conservative colleagues and I continue to call on Trudeau to take immediate steps to end this senseless disaster. Canadians deserve concrete action on this file. Alberta’s energy sector deserves to be restored to its former glory.

As you chant “build that pipe,” I am chanting with you.

Instead of trying to detract from his failure on the energy file by making the blanket statement that men have negative “social impacts” on rural communities, Trudeau should turn and look in the mirror.

The riding of Lethbridge, and indeed all of Canada, would benefit greatly if he addressed the problem staring back at him.

Rachael Harder is the Conservative MP for Lethbridge. Her column appears monthly.

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17 Responses to “Kicking Alberta workers while they’re down”

  1. biff says:

    keep pushing the fossil that is fossil fuel…creative. you have mountains of evidence that oil and its derivatives have decimated the planet; have left an environmental disaster in alberta; have really only enriched a relative few private greedmongers over the long term, leaving us in the continued cycles of boom and bust, but always with more environmental degradation. but, hey, a few bucks is worth the devastation? hate to tell you, rh, but oil is on the way out, and as dependence decreases, there will be ever the less demand for alberta oil. not much for it anymore, either. note: the usa is now using its own, and is the world’s number one producer. no longer are the waiting for rainy day…it has come. still, i wonder what is your plan? do we just continue to do the same old: do not diversify; do not address the future realities that require significant changes to how we treat the planet?

    • Seth Anthony says:

      It’s fossil fuels that have for decades, and continue to, give us so much to be grateful for.

      It provides us with a cleaner way to heat our homes (natural gas instead of wood). It provides us with a fuel for transportation for both work and pleasure in this frozen wasteland. Alberta’s fossil fuels has brought, and continues to bring, countless Canadians out of poverty. Then of course, there’s countless products that you continue to use and cherish, that are a result of fossil fuels. As such, your position on fossil fuels is woefully misguided, hypocritical, and ungrateful.

      Furthermore, if we could get our fuel out to the coast, we can sell it at a premium to countries that are begging for it, and will continue to do so for many decades. We now take those billions in revenue, significantly reduce taxes, and invest in new generation nuclear, solar panel efficiency, and solid state storage.

    • IMO says:

      Thank you, biff, for addressing the spin.

  2. grinandbearit says:

    Only an idiot or a person with evil intent or someone who thought a supernatural force will step in to save us, would want to work to dramatically increase burning fossil fuels and increase greenhouse gases, thereby accelerating global warming catastrophes, to make more money. Rachel is a toady to the rich and right wing ideologues.

  3. biff says:

    grin – as bottom-line on-the-money as can be. ty.

  4. johnny57 says:

    Only idiots like David Suzuki and a few others could come to the conclusion that oil is on its way out. China with the biggest population in the world is expected to increase its dependence on oil and gas.
    Right-on Rachael only a self absorbed loonie-toon like Trudope could hit Alberta workers when they are down. 20019 can not come fast enough.

  5. biff says:

    perhaps we can agree that fossil fuel use has made the planet what it is now…which is, really, what it isn’t nor ought to be.

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