Getting Pipelines Built
Alberta’s energy industry is the heart of our economy. We need to support it, not just for ourselves but for our environment. We need to make sure we’re creating the most ethical and environmentally friendly oil possible so the world doesn’t turn to dirtier energy sources like coal. Balancing environment and economy won’t be easy, but we’re up to the task.
Getting the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project Built
The Trans Mountain Expansion Project is the safest way to get our oil to new markets and get a better price for it. We must diversify our customer base, and twinning and upgrading an existing pipeline is the most responsible way to do it.
The critical National Energy Board environment review and Indigenous consultation and accommodation processes were botched by successive federal governments, and led to the Federal Court of Appeal striking down the approval on constitutional grounds. Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan is a constitutional law lawyer, he understands how Canada’s Constitution works and the right way to effectively consult and accommodate First Nations’ concerns.
There is no shortcut to fulfilling the constitutional duty to consult. Declaring the project, already under federal jurisdiction, a “federal undertaking” will not change its status or get it built. There is no way to override section 35 of the Constitution that recognizes and affirms Aboriginal and Treaty rights. First Nations must be properly consulted at the highest levels and their concerns meaningfully accommodated.
The project will also not be built by attacking Ottawa, banning BC wine, threatening to shut off oil exports, or firing up a “War Room” to battle the Feds. This will only hurt our own industry and province.
However, we cannot trust the federal government to get this right. Alberta Liberals will immediately demand an interim report that details their efforts to comply with the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision and the status of the consultation process with affected First Nations in Alberta and British Columbia. Albertans deserve to be treated like adults and be informed of the federal government's progress to date on moving the Trans Mountain Expansion Project forward on their behalf. Thousands of jobs and billions of revenue dollars are at stake. All we have is silence. Albertans have a right to be stressed. Another delay could further sink our economy.
Amending and Improving Bill C-69
Bill C-69 is deeply flawed and must be amended. The world has changed; today’s international investors demand not only regulatory certainty, but also socially-responsible investing. There is an opportunity for Canada to turn the tables and go from a lack of investment in our energy industry to attracting increasing investment by demonstrating that we are respecting Indigenous and human rights and addressing the environment and sustainability with every project we undertake.
Alberta Liberals will join with Alberta’s energy industry to demand specific amendments to this bill that balance economic, social and environmental concerns, including:
- removing project approval powers from the purview of the federal Environment Minister and depoliticizing approvals;
modernizing and improving, not replacing, the National Energy Board, and retaining its well-established, extensively court-reviewed process and extensive jurisprudence;
- including positive aspects of national and regional growth, prosperity and competitiveness as public interest factors;
- embracing opportunities for Indigenous economic reconciliation; increasing certainty around timeframes and clock stoppages;
- introducing innovative approaches to minimize timelines; and
- establishing clear policy in the areas of climate change and Indigenous rights.
Fixing Canada’s Equalization Payments Formula
Canada’s equalization formula, created by Mr. Kenney and Mr. Harper, is unfair to energy-producing provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan, but a “referendum” based on threatening separation will not give us the power to demand changes or amend Canada’s Constitution. Albertans are generous and care about our neighbours in Confederation, but we expect fairness.
An Alberta Liberal government will demand the current formula be amended to treat hydro-producing provinces' revenue generated by their hydro Crown corporations the same way we treat Alberta’s oil and gas royalties, or we will set up an Alberta Crown corporation that will collect energy royalties and remove them from the current equalization formula calculations, making it fairer for everyone. We will also demand an improvement to the mechanism that provides financial help to provinces in time of economic need, whether they are usually “have” or “have not” provinces.
Ending Government Boondoggles
We will put an end to government boondoggles and interference in the market. Alberta has wasted billions over the years on interventionist boondoggles. If more refineries are economically feasible in Alberta, let’s let markets decide. We will establish an independent panel of experts to review and make recommendations on any proposed future taxpayer-financed, value-added investment in the energy sector. We will cancel the NDP’s costly and risky oil-by-railcar shipping plan. Governments should only intervene in the market when there is a major failure. An Alberta Liberal Government will change our fiscal structure to create a business-friendly environment to allow businesses to grow, build, and employ Albertans.
Re-Igniting the Energy East Pipeline Project
Canada needs greater energy independence and Alberta needs access to markets. A pipeline east just makes sense. We need to reignite the Energy East pipeline project and replace oil imports in eastern Canada with more ethical and environmentally-responsible made-in-Alberta oil. We demand the Federal government show national leadership and restart this important national infrastructure project. It’s a Win-Win-Win.
Growing Renewable Energy
Green initiatives like renewable energy represent an economic opportunity for Alberta. Alberta Liberals will create the business and regulatory environment to allow green initiatives like renewable energy to grow and thrive, and carefully support renewable energy projects, including congregation plants that convert excess energy into usable power.