End the gridlock – Let’s do what’s best for Alberta

Today I released the second of three big ideas that I would like the members of the United Conservative Party to consider.

Market access and building pipelines has been a major issue over the last few years and I believe that it is long past time for Alberta to reach forward and take control of its own destiny.

Alberta loses about $5 per barrel for every day that we do not have access to tidewater for our oil.  This amounts to a daily loss of approximately $15 million in revenue to the economy of Alberta. By finding new markets for Alberta products, we can reduce that impact. 

 There has been a concerted effort to stall development of energy infrastructure in Canada, and the response of the NDP government has been to add carbon taxes and close down coal plants in the hope of achieving “social license” from people and groups that never had any authority to give it.

This plan is not working. The NDP is only punishing Albertans who cannot afford it.  They are simply trying to buy the support of Albertans with their own money.

It is imperative that we secure additional access to tidewater; we cannot afford to leave our future to a dithering federal government or anti-oil opponents.

 With this sentiment in mind, my second big idea is that Alberta buys a critical piece of infrastructure: the railroad to Churchill, Manitoba, and its port facilities.

 Churchill has Canada's only deep-water port facility, and it could be capable of sending 250,000 barrels/day of Alberta oil to global markets so we can secure the premium price.  We would re-open and invest in the rail line that closed this summer, re-open the grain export terminal for farmers across the West to use, expand the port facilities to handle the expanded economic activity, and build a pipeline along the railway right of way, which would require servicing and thus give the Port of Churchill its first road access.     

 In making this investment, we will also see several other economic benefits, including:

  • New pipeline and road construction linking northern Manitoba to the rest of Manitoba and Saskatchewan;
  • Construction and restoration of the train line;
  • New port access for grain and other agricultural exports that have had difficulties getting to market via Vancouver;
  • Greater employment and economic growth for our partners in Manitoba;
  • Access to export markets for farmers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba; as well,
  • Churchill also has an important part to play in the economic development of the North, which is seeing greater mining development in Nunavut, Ontario and Quebec.

 This would not mark the first time Alberta has shown this type of leadership. We saw this when Premier Lougheed turned off the taps to stop the flow of oil to Eastern Canada during the dark depths of the National Energy Program. This leadership also had the foresight to create the Alberta Oil Sands Research and Technology Authority.

 I believe that now is the time to take a cue from Premier Lougheed and make a government-led infrastructure investment in Alberta's future. We are desperate for access to new markets; it is time we take control of our destiny.

As I tour the province meeting party members, I would be very interested in your thoughts on my big ideas.


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  • Marie says it well, it is time for our government to lead and come up with outside of the box thinking.
    Quit wasting time and resources dealing with narrow minded, self-thinking, provinces aka Quebec and BC. Alberta has lived as a good neighbor, and confederation was alive and honored in our Province. However other provinces do not think that way; for them the good of Canada is not foremost. Regional thinking seems to rule the day. So sad and so wrong. If a pipeline could be build to Churchill or a rail line brought back onstream. That would make the regional thinkers pay attention. The citizens of Alberta have always lead in championing our resources. Our politicians and parties have used OIL and GAS as a scape goat and a milk cow, based on political whim and convenience. Alberta has been blessed with these resources, and we know we are caretakers of huge wealth for the world. We the citizens of Alberta, take that responsibility on with deep understanding and commitment.

    good idea Jeff, please share with the United Conservative Party.
  • This is one of the best ideas, that I have heard in YEARS!! I am so fed up with all the anti oil people. If anyone ever stopped to think….Alberta employed half of Canada for the past 40 years. Even people from many walks of life and different industries, had Alberta to thank for their employment. You didn’t have to actually work in Alberta, to benefit on all the side industries. Some place in Ontario, maybe made nuts and bolts, but guess what….they probably were shipped to Alberta, to some company that then used them in something they were building. It goes on and on.

    In this “anti oil culture”, we as Albertans, really need to advocate for our own economic survival. And believe me….the NDP and Rachel Notley, may say they are for our pipelines but really, as we know, they want to be “fossil free” within the next 20 years.

    When that secret Federal NDP memo was leaked…..it actually said that they wanted to shut down the Oilsands, within the next 10 years.

    Thank God, that the Wildrose and PC’s joined, to make ONE PARTY. I sent a letter in 2016 to the Wildrose, with my donation and said that I wanted the letter to be read “out loud”, at the General Meeting in Red Deer. And that is what I was saying…..we cannot have a “split vote” in the next election.

    In the history of Alberta, the NDP have never held more than 4 seats, (except in 1986, for some reason, they got 15 seats.) It was a ridiculous combination of things, that saw us with an NDP government in 2015. Even the NDP were surprised. People were voting "against the PC’s (Prentice), and the NDP had to scramble to even have a person in each riding. Some areas ended up with 20 yr. olds, we ended up with a 24 yr. old. No one had any experience in working for the Government of Alberta.

    I originally had planned on giving my vote to Kenney, as I thought that Brian Jean had his chance in 2015, and still wasn’t able to pull off a win. Especially because so many people were ticked with the PC’s. The Wildrose should of won that election.

    I was all for building a new pipeline across Canada to Nova Scotia. When their Premier was here a few years ago, he said that if we built the pipeline….he would build the sea ports.

    I never actually thought of Churchill, Manitoba. It is much closer and I’m sure that Saskatchewan would be agreeable. I’m a big believer that we should build our own refineries, instead of shipping our oil raw, and then letting the US get all the Industries from the By-Products of our OIL.

    BUT first, we have to be able to get our OIL to a deep sea port. Hopefully, if it ever comes to pass, the Federal Government and the Provincials of Sask. & Man. would kick in with the enormous cost, of bringing this to “reality”.

    I hope these comments actually go to Jeff Callaway, and not some “tele-marketing” company.

    Thanks,
    Marie MacDonald
    mcm2 @telus.net