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  • MLA report May 23

    Hello Chestermere! It has been a very full week, and as always when I’m driving down that highway to come home I am so happy to drive into our beautiful city and see folks out and about on the pathways, enjoying the weather and each other’s company. Let me update you on our office situation.  We will be opening up new offices in Langdon and Strathmore. We needed to open an office in Strathmore and hire another constituency assistant to help us to serve you better.  This has meant we have to close the Chestermere office. As you know, the Province is faced with major debt and deficit issues and our budget has been frozen. By doing this it will be a 10 minute drive from Chestermere to Langdon and less than a 20 minute drive to one of our offices from anywhere in the constituency. Our Strathmore office will open in June at 129 Second Avenue, and our office in Langdon will open in July at the latest. We are also very mobile, so if coming to one of these offices is not convenient we will come to you if at all possible.  Watch this space for updates.

    In the meantime, please stop by and see Vicki and Peter at the Chestermere office until the end of May.  You may contact us at 403-207-9889, or by email at chestermere.strathmore@assembly.ab.ca. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we get organized and set up.

    Danielle Smith’s May 17 Herald column ( https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/smith-fat-cat-alberta-unions-back-doomsday-anti-oil-campaign ) made for interesting reading. To quote Ms. Smith: “For those who don’t know, Public Interest Alberta is a self-described public interest advocacy group. Its board of directors is represented by every major public sector union in Alberta, including the Alberta Teachers’ Association, the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, the United Nurses of Alberta, the Alberta Federation of Labour, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, the Non-Academic Staff Association, the Calgary and Edmonton district labour councils and CUPE Alberta Division.”

    What strikes me the most in this article is that our schools and teachers, hospitals, nurses, and other unions are funded by our incredible resource sector.  We owe our quality of life to the energy sector. Other sectors like manufacturing small business, and agriculture, all of us rely on a healthy economy that is led by our energy sector.  Energy is diversified, adaptable and even under the most hostile of circumstances, bounces back with good policy and good management.  To throw the sector and its workers under the bus is disingenuous and dangerous.  The public sector union bosses are asking you to advocate an end to Alberta’s energy sector.  I know it sounds ludicrous and it is.  Did you know that union pension funds are invested in oil and gas?  It makes absolutely no sense at all.  Please read the “Pact for a Green New Deal”  ( https://act.greennewdealcanada.ca/the-text/ )  which alarmingly describes that we as energy producers are exacerbating  the “systemic injustices” of economic inequality, racism and the housing crisis.   They are suggesting that civilization will come to an end and that the only way to fix this is to stop using fossil fuels.  Where is the evidence?  Did you know that most societies that exist in extreme poverty also suffer from energy poverty?  Our modern medical system is built on technology from the oil and gas sector that saves millions of lives each year.

    What about renewables?  Well I love renewables and if there is a market for them it is a fantastic mix into our grid, however, subsidizing them and not being accountable to the fact that every windmill and solar farm has to be backed up by reliable power is misleading to the public, and does not tell the full story.  We need electricity and heat to survive, and renewables are intermittent at best.  Thank goodness we have natural gas as a back up on those cold winter nights when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining.  Another interesting point that is brought up is the entire idea of using batteries to hold power from renewables.  It sounds great right?  Of course, batteries require the mining of large quantities of metals such as copper, nickel, lithium and cobalt.  Tesla has warned that there could be a shortage of metals used in batteries which are key components in electric cars ( https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lithium-electric-tesla-exclusive/exclusive-tesla-expects-global-shortage-of-electric-vehicle-battery-minerals-sources-idUSKCN1S81QS ).

    Wholesale adoption of electric cars will require a vast expansion in mining. Mining of course has its own environmental footprint and in many cases such as the Congo there is no concern for the environment and widespread use of child labour.   I guess these abuses are OK when it’s in the cause of the “Green New Deal”.  Just like Public Interest Alberta thinks it is OK to destroy our own resource sector that protects human rights better than anyone else in the world, pay their workers top dollar and generates billions of dollars for our economy?  There is nothing OK about this, in fact, the energy war room that our Premier is putting together cannot come soon enough.

    Let’s stop apologizing Alberta, and though I believe in the opportunity for all sides to have a say on how we can improve our energy sector, it is imperative that these discussions are rounded out with facts and critical thinking, especially for our youth.  They need energy literacy, and they need it now.  As always we love to hear from you.