Hello Chestermere! I have so much to chat about with you this week, I don’t know where to start. Sometimes 1000 words is just not enough. I wanted to take a moment to thank the people who read these articles. You have no idea how much it feeds my soul that you would take the time to read what I write. It is truly an honour to be able to write in this format and I would like to thank Steve Jefferies for giving me the space, and Peter Tindall who does all my editing. I write on average 9 articles a month for various readership in this fine constituency of ours, and I am grateful for the platform.
Ok. Where to start. Energy! What a blessing this province has. What an amazing gift we sit on, owning the 5th largest oil reserve in the world. It is amazing how our industry has taken the lead with responsible resource stewardship and creates a product that we should be so proud of. Every credible agency forecasts that demand for oil will keep growing until at least 2040. Our oil and gas is the best, greenest, cleanest and most ethical product in the world. Eastern Canada imports oil from countries who have variously: no concern for human rights, no concern for the environment, repress women, and export terror. On the West Coast eco activists accept millions from American foundations to try to stop export pipelines and landlock Alberta oil, forcing us to sell it at a huge discount to, you guessed it, the Americans who then can export their own oil at world price while laughing at us. This is a travesty. Please talk to your kids about this. This is their future, their prosperity, and their natural resources.
Have you changed your habits since the Carbon Tax kicked in? Do you drive less, or heat your house less? I mean we just had the coldest Easter in 78 years. Do you still travel to Mexico, Jamaica, Disneyland? What do you think is the answer? We have to look at a couple of things. We are an economy driven by the energy sector and it is our responsibility to do extract these resources as responsibly as possible. We should be producing more here. The rules and regulations around the environment must apply to all industries. Did you know that the environmental red tape in this province and this country actually handcuffs the industry because it lacks transparency and the goal posts keep moving. There are no rewards for good behaviour, and you and I, our aging parents, and our great grandchildren are having their futures mortgaged for ideology with no significant metrics to prove that the Carbon Tax is changing behaviour, altering the footprint, or is anything more than a cash grab which the Government finally made clear in the last budget. Are we supposed to bend to environmental groups, or do we demand better, and cleaner products from our industry while enjoying the prosperity our resources give us? I believe Albertans are up to the task of doing better. We care deeply about our earth, air and water. Tax grabs like the Carbon Tax are not going to make any meaningful change in pollution we produce, so lets get to work on doing the very best we can, ship our products to waiting customers, build the pipelines, get our resources into the pipeline, get the grain we grow into the trains for transport, and allow wind and solar the opportunity to enter the grid as the market demands. If you want to choose that your energy comes from wind, then that is your choice, but to subsidize it, hide it in a capacity market scheme, and tell us that government knows better than you about how you should live your life is shameful, and none of us should ever allow that to happen. It has happened before. You, the tax/rate payer, paid for those boondoggles and you will pay for these ones too, make no mistake.
I find it particularly interesting that the Government feels compelled to give you “free” lightbulbs, high-efficiency shower heads, faucet aerators if no aerator is present, advanced power bars, and “smart” thermostats through their “no-charge” energy program. I would love to know just how much this program cost the tax payer? You don’t just get the light bulb folks, you also get a qualified agent who will drive to your home, remove old products and replace them with new ones.
So, we have money from the Carbon Tax for light bulbs and people to put the light bulbs in your house, but we have no money for schools in Chestermere-Rocky View. Interesting. Did you know that not only did we receive no new school funding, even though schools like Eastlake and Chestermere High School will be over 100% capacity in 2020, we couldn’t even get funding for portables. Chestermere is one of the fastest growing cities in Alberta. Well folks, I hate to break it to you, but if we end up over 96 billion in debt because of this Government, life is going to be significantly harder for Albertans. The NDP is right, they have managed to do in under 4 years what previous governments had not accomplished in 44 years, and that is destroy our economy, create the largest tax grab in the history of the province, and create a devastating debt that will take years to bounce back from. We will be paying over 3 BILLION dollars in interest a year on that debt. That is a lot of schools, teachers and doctors.
The government has stated over and over again that they wanted to do “compassionate cuts”. Well Chestermere, guess what? You now have the privilege of being in that category! The 2018 budget has no credible detail or fiscal responsibility as pointed out by economist Trevor Tombe. No matter how good your intentions, at some point the money will run out, and as he points out, the present Government could have made those decisions and been closer to balancing the budget.
We need people who are passionate about their province, cities, hamlets and towns. We need leaders who truly understand, evolve, and understand the industries that we are blessed to have. Did you know that pipelines could result in as much as 118 billion in royalties at the high end by 2035? Why is our Prime Minister not acting on this? This is not a game, this is about our prosperity! When is he going to show by his actions that he cares about the welfare of his country? He must lead by example, as must our Premier. This isn’t by doing what Ontario is doing, buying the votes of the people who are saddled with the biggest sub-sovereign debt in the country, or pretending that social licence is the way to build pipelines. Let’s get ‘er done folks, and let’s be proud of our accomplishments and plan to do better everyday.
As always, we love to hear from you!