Since 2015, tens of thousands of jobs have been lost across Canada because of the federal government's efforts to do away with Canada’s energy sector. While the Prime Minister said, “we need to phase [the oilsands] out”, doing so will only hurt Canada’s revenue, and hurt the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Canadians, while rewarding other countries that have less value for human rights or the environment.
The Liberal government has been promising their "Just Transition" legislation for years, and it was tabled in the House of Commons (HOC) just prior to the HOC rising for the summer, as Bill C-50.
According to a federal government internal briefing made public January 2023, the "Just Transition" plan to accelerate the shutdown of Canada's energy sector will result in the disruption of 170,000 direct jobs, the displacement of up to 450,000 direct and indirect jobs, and significant disruptions to the manufacturing, agricultural, transportation, energy, and construction sectors, affecting 2.7 million Canadian jobs total.
According to Statistics Canada, Canada's energy sector accounted for approximately 9.7% of nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021 and employs workers with an average wage that is more than twice the national average. Many people in Kelowna-Lake Country have close ties to the energy sector with family that have either worked in Northern BC or Alberta.
There are many who also believe this disruption will disproportionately impact Indigenous, rural, and remote communities, and blue-collar jobs. The President of the National Coalition of Chiefs says: “There is nothing fair or equitable…” about it.
Because the energy industry in Canada is the largest investor—more than all other industries put together—this bill will impede private sector investment in clean technology and innovation. Future fuels and alternative energy technologies are being developed at a rapid pace thanks to profitable oil and gas development. The alternative is the current government’s course, which would result in energy poverty for all Canadians by combining punitive policies and taxes with government programs and subsidies paid for by tax and ratepayers.
This bill furthers the top-down, red-tape, central planning, anti-energy, anti-private sector, and anti-free market, high tax, high debt agenda of the current government.
Bill C-50 is called the “Canadian Sustainable Jobs Act”. Upon my questioning to the Liberal Labour Minister at committee, he replied, “I hate the words “Just Transition” because workers hate the words “Just Transition”.” It appears the term “Just Transition” is being substituted with something that sounds friendlier by the title of C-50.
The Liberal government is advancing their "Just Transition" at a time when the world needs Canadian oil and gas more than ever. There is nothing "just" about forcing our allies to rely on energy from dictators and human rights violators. These countries energy needs exist and will be fulfilled - just not by Canada.
The absence of Canadian oil and gas production and export to replace higher-emitting energy sources will have an impact on global efforts to reduce emissions, and the void will be filled by countries and dictatorships with lower standards for the environment, human rights, and transparency than Canada.
Conservatives believe Canada must develop both our traditional and alternative energy sectors, and support the development of industries like hydrogen, biofuels, wind, solar, nuclear, tidal, and other innovative energy sources. Environmental stewardship must be addressed with realistic, concrete, and effective measures that is based on transformation, not transition; technology, not taxes; led by the private sector, not government.
If you follow social media, I’ve produced a video on this, which was posted June 19, 2023, on all my platforms, which discussed some of what I’ve outlined here if you are interested in seeing a visual context on this topic.
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