MP Stubbs Questions Liberals on Plan To Support Out Of Work Energy Workers

OTTAWA – Today, Shannon Stubbs, Member of Parliament for Lakeland and Official Opposition Deputy Critic for Natural Resources, pressed the Liberal government on their commitment to supporting 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, 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”. He even suggested M.P. Stubbs visit Calgary to speak to these happy Albertans herself.

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 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.

John Barlow, Member of Parliament for Foothills and Official Opposition Deputy Critic of Employment, Workforce and Labour, said he is extremely disappointed with the Liberal government’s approach to the crisis in Alberta.

“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.”

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.

MP Stubbs will continue to be a strong voice for her constituents in Lakeland, all Albertans, and Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast. A strong Alberta means a strong Canada.