By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on March 6, 2020.
Imagine a runner. She walks to the starting line of her race and takes her place, but before the whistle is blown, she leans down and ties her shoelaces together, securely fastening one shoe to the other. Then, she turns herself around so that she is standing backwards.
The other runners are lined up across the starting line. Their shoes are properly tied and they are facing in the right direction. The whistle is blown and the runners take off. Of course, the runner with her shoes tied together and facing the wrong direction not only looks foolish, but is at an undeniable disadvantage. This is Canada. Rather, this is Canada under the current government.
Instead of focusing on the economic prosperity and security of our country, the prime minister has advanced anti-industry policies like the carbon tax, C-69 and C-48, proving he is more interested in upholding his own image and ideals than about the well-being of Canadians.
He wants to be seen as caring for the environment. Yet, science reveals that no measurable advancements have been made under his leadership.
Last week, Teck Frontier Ltd. withdrew its application for a massive oilsands mine in Alberta just days before the federal deadline to approve the project. This initiative would have created 7,000 jobs and contributed $70 billion in federal, provincial and municipal taxes – money that would have been used to build schools, hospitals, roads and many other important infrastructure projects.
Whether it is supporting anti-energy activists, creating unnecessary regulation, or a deliberate lack of co-operation, it appears this government will do whatever is necessary to kill Canada’s energy sector.
On Tuesday, Feb. 25, my Conservative colleague, Shannon Stubbs, called for an emergency debate in the House of Commons on the Teck Frontier Mine decision. During the debate, I delivered a speech pleading with the members of the governing party to weigh the decisions we are making and how they will impact the generations that will come after us.
There are 338 of us who have been entrusted with a seat in the House of Commons and the responsibility of making decisions on behalf of the country. We are common people representing other common people who elected us to speak out on their behalf. This must never be taken for granted.
As I stood on the floor of the chamber, I spoke of the plight faced by the people of Alberta.
I called attention to the fact that Trudeau is fostering a chaotic and unstable environment. Who would want to invest in a country where their projects may get cancelled because radical activists block roads, railways and ports, while the police are instructed by the prime minister to turn a blind eye?
Trudeau is sending a message to the world that Canada is closed for business.
Our country is being held hostage by paid protesters who hate energy progress. Meanwhile, the prime minister is standing by watching environmentally responsible job-creating projects die.
By stunting the Canadian oil and gas sector, Trudeau is actually causing global GHG emissions to go up. If he truly cared about the environment, he would be the one leading the charge in getting oil and gas projects approved in Canada.
We still need energy. But instead of developing our own oil and gas sector under the world’s strictest environmental standards, we will continue to bring it in from Saudi Arabia, where zero environmental regulations are in place and the oil and gas we purchase is shipped over to Canada on barges and then transported by rail. Sixteen transport ships produce the same amount of pollution as all the cars in the world. What is environmentally friendly about that?
The destruction of Canada’s energy sector isn’t an Alberta problem. This is an all-of-Canada problem. Our entire nation is at stake. Our national unity is suffering and the prime minister doesn’t seem to care.
Canada is in crisis.
The refusal to allow for the development of our energy industry and draw investment into our country is actually a refusal to take his place as the prime minister and lead the country well. It is an abdication of his role as head of state, and it is wrong. We are leaderless and thus, set up to fail.
It is time for action.
My colleagues and I will continue to call on the Liberal government to step aside and let Alberta run. We are strong, we are innovative, and we are powerful. We don’t want handouts. We just want to work. It’s time for Trudeau to implement policies that will facilitate an environment of economic prosperity or get out of the way.
Rachael Harder is the Conservative MP for Lethbridge. Her column appears monthly.