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  • MLA report December 13

    Hello Chestermere! You may have read in the past few days that even as we struggle as a province to get our amazing resources to the coast and into the global market, and even as Alberta’s and Canadian prosperity continue to be handcuffed by Justin Trudeau due to his inability to get a pipeline built, we in this province will help to contribute an additional 1.4 billion dollars to Quebec in equalization.

    Over 50% of equalization comes from the taxes Albertans pay to the Federal Government. Quebec is a province whose leaders both provincially and federally have stopped our Energy East Pipeline from being built, have no problem importing oil from regimes with odious human rights records, and have stopped us from creating the national wealth that contributes to the equalization payments that they are blessed to receive.

    Albertans are incredibly generous, and we have proven that over and over again not only in Quebec, but nationally. We are hurting, and we are suffering. My friend posted last week on Facebook that she is losing her house! This is beyond shocking.

    This is the response from Quebec: “There is no social acceptability for oil in Quebec.” says Premier François Legault. He doesn’t want this “dirty energy” to go through his province so Alberta can receive world prices for our ethical and environmentally responsible energy.

    New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is trying to revive the Energy East pipeline and I asked questions about this of our NDP government last week and received no straight answers on whether the NDP would stand up and support this amazing opportunity.

    The fact that Legault could even suggest that this is not a priority for him shows that he does not understand how his province is funded. In fact, Quebec is running budget surpluses while we struggle to try and keep up with NDP’s reckless spending. We have thousands out of work trying to keep the lights on and food on their tables.

    How little this Quebec Premier understands or cares about our current situation! He needs to be educated and he needs to know that everything he wears, sits on, drives, washes his clothes with comes from petroleum products and the world is not slowing down in its usage. This is unbelievable.

    Quebec is at this point receiving more than 13 billion in equalization. What happened to national unity?  Justin Trudeau gave Legault a veto on the Energy East pipeline and it is interesting to note that Quebec is a very large user of hydro-carbons.

    Oil tankers from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, etc. sail up the Saint Lawrence River every day. No Trudeau Tanker Ban for them! They have not stopped driving, or heating their homes, or buying cell phones or iPads or anything else for that matter. Even with their hydro-electricity they still consume 355,000 barrels per day of gasoline and diesel.

    How can he say that there is no social acceptability?  How is that possible? Energy East is an absolute must. How are we supposed to keep up with equalization when we are handcuffed from creating the wealth that pays for it. You might also remember that Justin Trudeau forced through and renewed the current equalization payment formula for 5 more years without giving provinces a chance to look at the formula and see where it needs to be reconfigured.

    The worst part of that is that we asked the NDP minister of finance Joe Ceci to look at the equalization program with us. In fact we presented him with a well thought out non partisan plan as to how to rethink the formulas and we were told straight up that it was “not a priority for this government” and they would look at it as they got closer to the renegotiation date. They would not do anything about it when they had the chance.

    Premier Scott Moe of Saskatchewan tried to fight back to no avail with zero support from the Alberta Government. Because the formula was not fixed, Quebec is now entitled to an extra $1.4 billion while having a $3 billion surplus. We are in a recession here, yet Albertans contribute on average $20 billion per year in equalization. We have a massive deficit and many challenges and we are not able to develop the wealth that contributes to the very equalization Quebec benefits from. This is beyond unfair. Energy is a pillar of our economy and we can thank our energy industry for many of our hospitals, schools, and the wages energy workers earn. It’s long past time the NDP stood up and supported Alberta. As always we love to hear from you.