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In a 49-46 vote one day ago, Canada's Senate voted to pass Bill C-48 - the law that would ban oil tanker traffic on BC's Northern Coast.
One of those voting in favour was Alberta Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell.
Albertans may remember Sen. Mitchell when he was the unsuccessful leader of Alberta's Liberal Party, and now as the Liberal Senator who betrayed his own province to curry favour with an Alberta-hating Trudeau Liberal government.
It was yet another blow to Alberta's struggling energy sector - but that was only the beginning of the bad news.
The Senate then passed Bill C-69, colloquially known as the "No More Pipelines Act", which would make it virtually impossible to build another pipeline in Canada. Ever.
Several Alberta Senators, including "Independent" Senators Paula Simons and Patti LaBoucane-Benson, and Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell, voted in favour of the bill.
Taken together, these measures constitute a direct assault on Alberta's oil and gas sector, and will hurt our province's economic recovery.
The one bright spot of the week, the Trudeau Liberals' second approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion after more than two years of delays, was overshadowed by the announcement of fresh lawsuits on the part of the BC NDP government, various professional environmental activist groups, and some First Nations' groups to block the pipeline once again.
It's leaving Albertans with a very disturbing question: why, exactly, are so many Canadians opposed to the development and export of our oil and gas.
Global oil consumption will be increasing until at least 2040, and that oil will have to come from somewhere.
Let's look at the list of possible oil suppliers and the human cost of that oil:
Russia: Emerging autocratic state with punitive laws which target LGBTQ+ people and exposes them to violence and prison sentences.
Iran: theocratic dictatorship where women, minorities, and LGBTQ+ people are routinely attacked. State sponsor of global terrorism.
Venezuela: corrupt and failed communist state where government police forces brutally attack civilians who are starving in the streets.
Saudi Arabia: absolute monarchy with no democracy. Attacks against women, minorities, and LGBTQ+ people are routine and state-sanctioned. Major funder of global terrorism.
Canada: Full equality for women, minorities, and LGBTQ+ people, free and open democracy, and stringent environmental protections.
Given the options, Canada is quite simply the very best option for meeting both domestic and international oil needs.
Put simply, we should be developing and exporting as much Canadian oil and gas as we possibly can.
What will it take for the rest of Canada to come on board with the idea that the world needs more Canadian oil, not less.
In the meantime, we hope that construction restarts on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion as quickly as possible.
Alberta Blue Skies
P.S. If you'd like to express your opinions to those Alberta Senators who voted against our province's best interests, here is their contact information:
We did it, Alberta!
On Tuesday, April 16th, Albertans overwhelmingly voted for change, ending the NDP's four years of misrule, and welcoming in a new United Conservative government under the leadership of Premier-designate Jason Kenney.
And the results were overwhelming.
Despite a constant campaign of fear and negative attacks, Albertans came out in droves to vote for jobs, pipelines and economic growth - and in the end, it wasn't even close.
More than 70% of eligible Alberta voters cast ballots in this election - the highest turnout in an Alberta provincial election since 1971.
A whopping 55% of those voters cast ballots for Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party - that works out to more than a million votes for the UCP.
Put another way, it's the most votes a provincial political party has ever gotten in the history of Alberta. The UCP beat the NDP by more than 23%, embarrassing a lot of polling companies and political pundits in the process, who claimed the results would be much closer.
It also, once again, demonstrates a key point that Alberta Can't Wait has been making since we were founded:
When conservatives are united, we win. When conservatives are divided, we lose.
And boy, did united conservatives win.
In fact, the new United Conservative party won a larger share of the vote than both the legacy PC and Wildrose Parties combined did in the 2015 Alberta election.
This is great news for Alberta, and great news for those families struggling through the tough economic times made worse by the NDP's anti-business policies.
During the campaign, Jason Kenney would say that "help is on the way" - and now, with last Tuesday's win, help is here!
It also means that we've finally come to the end of a journey that began in an auditorium in Red Deer in the spring of 2016, just a year after the NDP were first elected, when more than 700 Albertans from across the province came together to discuss conservative unity.
Alberta Can't Wait was created to end the vote-splitting between the Wildrose and PC Parties that had cost conservatives the 2015 election and put our province's future at risk.
We fought hard to neutralize the old guards of both parties who were more interested in protecting their own personal political fiefdoms than they were about bringing conservatives together and winning the next election.
We campaigned for the memberships of both political parties to support unity, and held their leaderships' feet to the fire when they dragged their heels or tried to derail the process.
And we were successful in helping to create the party which now forms the new Government of Alberta.
We called ourselves Alberta Can't Wait because we knew that we couldn't afford to wait even one more election to unite conservatives and take back our province.
We wouldn't have been able to achieve what we did without the support of thousands of everyday Albertans - from every corner of the province and every walk of life - who set their political labels aside to put Alberta first.
We are sincerely grateful for the faith and trust that were placed in us by Albertans, and it has been a privilege to be your voice over these past years.
Alberta is done waiting - now, it's time for our province to lead.
Here are some of our favourite memories from our unity journey at Alberta Can't Wait:
Alberta Can't Wait's launch conference held in Red Deer, Alberta
The ACW "Unity Bus" featuring ACW founder Prem Singh and Premier-designate Jason Kenney
ACW billboard promoting conservative unity
However, while Alberta Can't Wait's role has finished, we do not believe that the work is done to renew the Alberta Advantage and reignite our economy.
Because winning an election isn't the only thing that matters.
It's what you do with that victory that counts - the policies you adopt, the laws that you pass, the people you choose to help you govern, and the stands you take on principle for what you believe in make all the difference.
We believe that Alberta needs a government that leads the way forward and stands up for what's important - and we need voices that will support that work over the months and years to come.
In the near future, we'll be sharing with you what Alberta Can't Wait will become. We're excited about what comes next for us, and for Alberta.
Until then, let us close this last Alberta Can't Wait e-mail with our thanks and appreciation to each and every one of you.
Alberta is a remarkable place, filled with remarkable people - and we can't wait to see what our province will achieve next.
With thanks and gratitude,
Alberta Can't Wait
Alberta's current unemployment rate is 7.3%, with thousands of Albertans unable to find work.
Many have stopped looking for new jobs altogether as Alberta's economy continues to struggle.
The NDP's so-called economic recovery is just a government talking point. The fact is, the NDP's plan to grow Alberta's economy and create new jobs hasn't worked.
While low commodity prices and a lack of pipelines have certainly contributed to our province's current economic woes, there is another reason why Alberta's economic performance has faltered.
Over the last three years, the NDP has made it clear that Alberta is closed for business. They've scared off investment, layered on red tape, and added significant costs onto the backs of business owners.
We've talked before about the many ways in which the NDP have made doing business in Alberta more expensive, from labour law changes and the $15 dollar minimum wage hike to the multi-billion dollar carbon tax.
But now we're seeing a clear alternative to the NDP's anti-business agenda that we believe will kickstart job creation and economic growth in Alberta.
The United Conservative Party has begun releasing policy planks ahead of the Spring 2019 Alberta provincial election. Here are a couple of the commitments they've made, which we believe will be effective in helping businesses create new jobs and attract investment back to Alberta.
1. Cutting the red tape.
There's nothing that left-of-center governments love more than government regulations. As former US President Ronald Reagan once said, "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: if it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
Layers and layers of red tape have made doing business in Alberta costly and complicated.
Businesses spend too much time and money trying to comply with the ocean of regulation that the NDP government have forced onto their backs.
The UCP's proposed policy of reducing government regulation by one third will both help cut costs for businesses and attract new businesses to Alberta.
2. Cutting job-killing business taxes.
Alberta's economic crisis was made much worse when the NDP decided to raise taxes on businesses precisely when they could least afford them. It told investors that Alberta wasn't the place to do business and drove up job losses.
The NDP's solution has been for the government to pick private-sector winners and losers by using taxpayer money to support certain projects over others.
The UCP's proposed policy of cutting the general business tax rate from 12% to 8% will create the conditions for businesses to create jobs, and attract investment back to our province. The government shouldn't be in the business of being in business - they should create the right conditions to let the private sector do what it does best: create opportunity and prosperity.
These policies were also advanced by our friends at Canadians for Democracy and Prosperity as part of their Open For Business campaign.
Ultimately, both of these measures are also about sending a message not just to Albertans, but to investors and entrepreneurs around the world:
Alberta is the place to come if you want to start and grow your business.
We believe that the measures being announced by the United Conservative Party are not only prudent but necessary if we're to resolve Alberta's ongoing unemployment crisis and kickstart our economy.
Alberta Can't Wait