As one of the largest contributors to the economy of the region and the province, the oil and gas industry is vital to the well-being of communities of all sizes.
Money generated through oil and gas activities helps fund schools, hospitals, roadways, bridges and a myriad of other key services and infrastructure across the province.
No doubt about it, without a healthy and vibrant oil and gas industry, Alberta would very quickly become a have-not province.
As such, every resident and every community in Alberta has a vested interest in the ongoing fight with British Columbia over the future expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Whether the fight will lead to success or failure for Alberta remains to be seen. What is certain is that Premier Rachel Notley and her fellow MLAs are right to stand up for the province.
“This is a critical moment for our country,” said Notley. “We can either act as one nation with a common future committed to jobs, prosperity, social justice and a clean environment or we can continue this unnecessary fight.
“We don’t see an escalation, but if B.C. continues to insist they have rights to attack Alberta’s economy that they don’t have, we will have no choice but to respond.”
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney has also come out strongly in support of Alberta’s oil and gas industry.
“I believe that the ongoing attacks on our economic interests constitute an urgent matter that requires the greatest possible degree of unity amongst Alberta political leaders, regardless of partisan affiliation,” said Kenney.
Every province, including British Columbia, has and should have the right to ensure its environment is protected from harm.
At the same time, every province also has the right to fair and equal treatment under the national law. And that is something Notley and Kenney are right to fight for.
Isn’t it refreshing to see Alberta’s elected leaders working together to protect a vital provincial industry from the political machinations of other governments?
– Dan Singleton is the Mountain View Gazette editor.