“Today, I was pleased to speak with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. I explained the deep frustration Albertans are feeling over federal policies that are failing our province and the urgent need for action to support the Alberta economy, because a strong Alberta makes for a strong Canada.
“I explained to her that every day the CN rail strike continues hurts Albertans and kills jobs and profits of businesses across Canada, and I repeated our government’s call for her government to recall Parliament and legislate an end to the strike.
“I also reminded Deputy Prime Minister Freeland of the urgent priorities for Alberta and the federal government that I set out two weeks ago, and I told her that we have not yet heard back from them on any of these requests.
“Those priorities are:
- A firm guarantee on completion of the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline by a fixed date, including a clear commitment to ensuring that the rule of law will be respected and applied.
- A $1.72-billion equalization rebate payment to Alberta. This would address the problem that federal support for the Alberta economy is arbitrarily capped, even as our economy is hurting, while transfer payments out of Alberta to continue without a cap. This can be solved by an immediate retroactive payment of $1.72 billion to cover what we should have received if the Fiscal Stabilization Program (FSP) were not capped for 2015-16 and 2016-17, plus the outstanding $251 million we are owed under the FSP for the year 2016-17.
- Funding to put Albertans back to work in green jobs by accelerating reclamation of abandoned wells.
- Approval of flow-through shares, or similar tax instruments, to stimulate investment in environmental technology such as carbon capture utilization and storage that will accelerate the reduction of GHG emissions from Canada’s oil and gas sector, and well reclamation, to put Albertans to work.
- Clear support for future liquified natural gas projects that will significantly reduce global GHG emissions by accelerating coal-to-gas conversion in the developing world.
- Repeal of Bill C-48, and repeal or significant mitigation of the negative effects of Bill C-69 to restore investor confidence.
- Establishing equivalency agreements for Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) program, and methane regulations.
- Accelerating federal approval of outstanding job-creating projects, like the Teck Resources Frontier mine and TransAlta natural gas pipelines to convert coal-fired plants to natural gas.
“On election night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he had heard our frustration and wants to be there to support us. I appreciate Minister Freeland’s willingness to listen and work with us, but the measure of the Prime Minister’s sincerity will be swift action on these urgent issues.”