MP Stubbs Slams Prime Minister Trudeau's Plan to ‘Phase Out’ Alberta’s Oil Sands

OTTAWA—On Friday, during a town hall meeting in Peterborough, Ontario, Prime Minister Trudeau admitted his intention to phase out Canadian oil sands development. 

"You can't make a choice between what's good for the environment and what's good for the economy. We can't shut down the oil sands tomorrow, we need to phase them out," said Trudeau. "We need to manage the transition off of our dependence on fossil fuels. That is going to take time and in the meantime, we have to manage that transition."

Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs, Official Opposition Deputy Critic for Natural Resources, said his remarks show he is completely out of touch with Albertans, and confirm his government’s reckless agenda to kill investment, projects, and jobs in the oil sands.

"Canada's energy is the most socially and environmentally responsible oil and gas in the world. The Prime Minister's comments prove he has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to the oil sands. Alberta was the first jurisdiction in all of North America to regulate emissions and to implement a targeted carbon levy on major industrial emitters, more than a decade ago, while oil sands developers and workers have led the world in continually improving sustainable production, enhancing energy efficiency, and minimizing the footprint of development, ensuring air, water, land, and habitat stewardship while working towards complete reclamation. Frankly, the oil sands are a long term, special, strategic asset that any country around the world would love to have, and any other national leader would value and promote,” said Stubbs. “On top of that, the oil sands are a source of prosperity and opportunity for all Canadians, providing benefits for every community across the country. At a time when more and more Albertans and Canadians are losing their jobs, and struggling to pay the bills, to put food on the table, and to provide for their families and futures, the Prime Minister is causing even more uncertainty for investment in oil and gas development in Canada, and is undermining proponents who want to get Canada's sustainable energy to diverse global markets." 

For over a year, the Liberals have stalled pipeline and LNG project approvals, hiked taxes, and increased red tape, often without consultation, which has harmed investment in oil and gas, at a time when Canadian energy faces global commodity price and competitive challenges, and while the US prepares to ramp up domestic energy production and exports. 

"Since taking office in October 2015, the Liberals have made things so much worse for everyday Canadians. Their federally imposed carbon tax has already hiked the costs of groceries, fuel, heating, transportation, and services. In November, the Prime Minister arbitrarily killed the Northern Gateway pipeline project and banned tankers on BC’s north coast, which would have created thousands of jobs for out of work Albertans, and would have enabled Canadian energy to reach Asian markets, where demand will continue to grow for decades, and finally reducing Canada’s almost entirely exclusive dependency on the US as a customer. The Prime Minister’s decision was ideological and based on politics, rather than on science and facts; his comments about phasing out the oil sands shows it’s a trend. The Prime Minister is taking the opinions and comments of celebrities and extremist activists over evidence and over the national interest, ignoring the track record of this Canadian success story," said Stubbs. 

The oil sands, which make Canada home to the third largest crude oil reserve in the world, have long been a significant financial contributor to the Canadian economy. In 2015, the oil sands contributed $23 billion to Canada’s economy and created 335,000 direct and indirect jobs.

"For more than a year, we in the Opposition have warned Canadians that the Liberals are against Canadian energy and Canadian oil and gas jobs. The Prime Minister's own words reveal it’s true. Maybe this is why his government has been so uncaring and weak in response to the hundreds of thousands of job losses in the energy sector; losses of that scale in any other sector, with such devastating impacts in any other province in such a short period of time, would be recognized as a pressing crisis and would be treated by a federal government as the highest priority; instead this Prime Minister and the federal Liberals make things worse. To talk about pursuing a phase out of such a vital part of Canada's resource development is a slap in the face to workers across the country; it’s irresponsible and destructive. The Liberals need to stand up for Canadians, for our world leading, responsible energy development, and for a strong, prosperous future for everyone."