Alberta M.P.s Barlow and Stubbs Denounce Liberal’s Lack of Leadership

OTTAWA – Today, Shannon Stubbs, Member of Parliament for Lakeland and Official Opposition Deputy Critic for Natural Resources and John Barlow, Member of Parliament for Foothills and Official Opposition Deputy Critic of Employment, Workforce and Labour condemned the Liberal government’s lack of action in support of the tens of thousands of energy workers in Alberta who have been hit hardest by the historic downturn in Canada’s energy sector.

In his response to MP Stubbs’ question encouraging the government to support Canada’s energy sector, Veterans Affairs Minister and Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre Kent Hehr said that people are “refreshed by the new approach of this government… [and] they’re happy that we are in charge”.

This is in contrast to comments made by Finance Minister Bill Morneau who visited Calgary on January 15. During his visit, Minister Morneau said that leaders from the energy and environmental sectors heightened his sense of concern about making sure that the government deals with the challenging economic situation in Alberta.

While the Liberal government fails to provide a plan or demonstrate leadership on the crisis in the energy sector, the situation in Alberta worsens.

Statistics Canada released revised numbers today that indicate Alberta lost more jobs last year than in any year since Prime Minister Trudeau’s father introduced the National Energy Program and Canada sunk into a deep recession in 1982. Projections for this year are no better: unemployment for the first half of 2016 is expected to be 7.2% while the economy is expected to shrink by 0.5%. This is not good news for Alberta, and indeed bad news for Canada.

“We have a Liberal Prime Minister who insults Canada's resource sector and now a Liberal Alberta minister who refuses to stand up for Albertans and support vital projects like Energy East,” said M.P. Barlow. “‘Refreshing’ is certainly not the feedback I am hearing from the thousands of Albertans who have lost their jobs and it is abundantly clear the Liberals are not listening.”

“While Albertans are struggling and anxious about how they’re going to pay their bills this month, Prime Minister Trudeau and his Cabinet keep musing about vague regulatory changes. This wavering does not instill any confidence. In fact, it’s contributing directly to an unstable and unpredictable investment environment for the whole economy, but especially for resource-rich Alberta. Contrary to what our Prime Minister believes, Albertans can be both resource-rich and resourceful,” said M.P. Stubbs.