Over this past weekend, many people either heard about or actually participated in a rally of at least 1500 oil and gas supporters and resource workers in Grand Prairie.
All gathered in opposition to a federal bill that goes too far and many feel will effectively prohibit pipeline construction of any kind in the future. To be honest, I think we are beginning to experience a bit of a change in the way Canadians look at resource development.
Take for instance the case of Whistler mayor Jack Crompton. The mayor and council suddenly found themselves in a hasty retreat after joining a letter campaign that asked Canadian Natural Resources to pitch in more money for climate change. The letter prompted swift protest from the energy industry and resulted in the scrapping of a significant portion of a CIBC-sponsored investment conference that had been traditionally held at Whistler for the past 20 years.
Canadian Natural Resources responded with its own letter explaining how our resource industry is working hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while making a significant contribution to the Canadian economy at the same time. To be honest, I think the message is getting there that Canadian resources are being sold at a ridiculous discount south of the border simply because there are no pipelines to get our resources to market overseas.
Just a few weeks ago I participated in a feisty debate at the Legislature that focused on millions of dollars being funneled to environmental activists from large American non-profit organizations like The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Tides Foundation. Even the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) is sounding the alarm bell over what they are calling foreign interference in the Canadian economy.
I look at it from a family perspective where many young people feel they have no other option but to move from our region in search of better opportunities elsewhere. This is very disheartening. It doesn’t have to be this way. My New Year’s resolution is to keep fighting for Canadian resources and giving young people the opportunities they deserve.
I hope all of you get an opportunity to spent time with friends and loved ones over the holidays. I also want to take a moment to thank all of our first responders and our Canadian Armed Forces members – Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years!