Opinion – Canadian oil – A global solution

Arnold Viersen, MP Peace River – Westlock

Alberta is hurting. Investors have fled south to the United States and the uncertainty surrounding the natural resource sector continues to hold back our economy.

According to reports, the Liberal government is preparing an aid package for Alberta if the $20.6-billion proposed Teck Frontier oilsands mine is rejected. Several Liberal MPs have already called for the mine project to be rejected, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his cabinet will deliver its final decision on the Teck Frontier mine by the end of the month.

What the Liberals have arbitrarily ignored is the fact that Teck Frontier has met or exceeded every condition the Liberals have asked for. The mine’s emissions will be about half of the oilsands industry average. Teck Frontier has satisfied regulators, addressed social and environmental concerns, and has established that its annual 4.1 megatonne greenhouse gas emissions fit easily into Alberta’s 100 megatonne cap.

The project also has the support of all 14 affected local Indigenous communities.

An expert joint panel, backed by science and evidence, recommended the Teck Frontier project for approval saying it is in the national public interest. The experts found that global emissions would increase if the Teck Frontier project was not approved because other countries’ oil production is more emissions-intensive.

The Liberals’ current policies are suppressing the energy resource sector and strangling Alberta. The Teck Frontier oilsands mine represents a $20.6 billion investment in Canada. A positive decision will create 7,000 much-needed construction jobs in Alberta and 2,500 ongoing jobs.

An approval will restore investor confidence and show the world that Canada is open for business. The Liberals need to listen to the experts and give Teck Frontier the green light. Albertans don’t want an aid package. Albertans want to work.

The fact is, the world is still dependent on oil and will be for decades. It’s in Canada’s interest to produce that oil. Our energy industry leads the world in setting the bar and meeting the highest ethical, environmental and regulatory standards.

The Liberals need to do the right thing.

My Conservative colleagues and I call on the government to approve the Teck Frontier project and put the economic and environmental interests of Canadians first.

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