Response to the Speech from the Throne: Premier Kenney
Premier Jason Kenney issued the following statement in response to the federal government’s Speech from the Throne:
“Alberta is disappointed that instead of listening to Canada’s provinces, the federal government doubled down on policies that will kill jobs, make Canada poorer and weaken national unity.
“Last week, I was joined by Premiers Ford, Legault and Pallister in Ottawa to speak on behalf of Canada’s provinces. We made it clear that the provinces are united in their priorities: healthcare and the economy. The speech we heard today was anything but.
“Earlier today, Statistics Canada showed the steepest decline ever for jobs in the resource sector – 43,000 people lost their good-paying jobs. Every one of these jobs lost represents a family that is disrupted, the uncertainty of how to pay bills or a mortgage, and questions about how folks are going to get food on the table.
“In a 6783 word Throne Speech, not one word recognized the crisis facing Canada’s largest industry – the energy sector that supports 800,000 jobs, directly and indirectly. Instead, we got a litany of policies that would strangle investment and jeopardize resource jobs when we most need the industry that generates 20 per cent of government revenues in Canada.
“I want to be clear: it’s not just Alberta’s energy sector that needs Canada right now. For a real recovery, Canada needs Alberta’s energy. Albertans have made a net contribution of more than $600 billion through transfers to the rest of Canada to build roads, schools, hospitals and the critical infrastructure Canadians need, in large part due to Alberta’s energy industry. And even conservative estimates from experts and economists show the global demand for oil increasing over the next 20 years.
“What that means is that Alberta’s energy sector will remain a vital part of Canada’s economy for generations to come. But, for that to happen, the federal government must first do no harm.
“That’s why today we are fighting the constitutional Trojan horse of the federal carbon tax at the Supreme Court of Canada, and why we will be in court to fight the ‘No More Pipelines’ Bill C-69 in the coming weeks.
“Alberta has never asked for a handout. Instead, we are merely asking for the federal government to support our province in the same way that Alberta has supported Canada for generations. The first thing they can do is hit the pause button on policies that unfairly and unconstitutionally target the economic engine of Canada. The next thing they can do is to demonstrate real support for Alberta by recognizing the fiscal calamity we face with the collapse of provincial revenue by living up to the original intent of the fiscal stabilization program and giving Alberta back $6.5 billion – less than one per cent of what Alberta has contributed to Canada. All 13 provinces and territories have recognized this as a national priority. It’s regrettable that the national government has not.”