by Mac Olsen
If I was a laid off employee in the Alberta petroleum industry right now, I would be very incensed about recent statements that our MLA and Energy Minister recently made.
As per a Global News story from Dec. 3, she was interviewed by the radio station CFFR, saying that laid-off oilpatch workers could consider moving to B.C. until the industry rebounds in this province.
“Certainly there are always talks … about mobility of jobs between provinces, so maybe they can go work in B.C. until it gets better and come back home,” she was quoted as saying in response to a question about what retraining opportunities were available for unemployed workers.
“It’s a tough time for everybody, not just oil and gas, there’s (a) lot of jobs being lost in the services sector … this oil price is hurting a lot of Albertans, so you just have to hunker down and get through it.”
The Global News report also says that she later apologized for her comments and said it was not the position of either herself or the government on jobs.
Well, Marg McCuaig-Boyd can try to distance herself from her remarks. But I think it’s incumbent on this province’s energy minister – who is also the MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley, which is home to substantial petroleum operations in its own right – to be exceedingly careful in the statements she makes about one of this province’s primary industries.
I’m sure no laid off oilpatch worker and their family in this province would like to hear suggestions that they could go elsewhere to seek employment. That certainly may not make them feel welcome or wanted. Moreover, they may not have the resources to move to another province to obtain work, even it is available.
More to the point, assuming oilpatch workers can find work elsewhere, what’s to say they’ll want to return to Alberta?
Statements like this are also picked up by Bay Street in Toronto, as well as petroleum companies in Calgary, Edmonton and elsewhere. Such negative statements may convince them that this NDP government and its energy minister are not friendly to them.
On another note, I take exception to Premier Rachel Notley’s trip to Paris two weeks ago for the COP21 “climate change” summit. I wonder how much money the taxpayers put out for the premier and her entourage to travel to that event, given that this province is in a recession and unemployment is at 7.1 per cent.
The premier could have talked to her “climate change” allies via satellite, over Skype or some other means of communication from Edmonton, rather than spending taxpayers’ money to travel there.
And if the premier really is concerned about “climate change” and burning fossil fuels, she should consider how much aviation fuel had to be used for her and her entourage to travel to Paris and back.
Premier Notley, please be more mindful of these things when advancing your left-wing agenda in the future.