EDMONTON, AB (September 20, 2016): Leap Manifesto author Avi Lewis’ endorsement of the NDP government’s Oil Sands Advisory Group Co-Chair’s views on building no new pipelines should be confirmation to the Premier that Tzeporah Berman should be reprieved of her role, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
In a recent interview on CBC’s The House, Leap Manifesto author Avi Lewis stated that he was “somewhat charmed to hear the Alberta government’s co-chair of their Oil Sands Advisory Panel, Tzeporah Berman, on The Current this past week, an initiating signatory on the Leap Manifesto, making the case in no uncertain terms that Canada cannot afford another pipeline, and still abide by its commitments in the Paris agreement.”
“Every day Albertans are sick and tired of hearing anti-pipeline rhetoric from people in positions of power and influence within the NDP government’s organization,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “The longer the Premier waits to replace a radical activist like Ms. Berman from the Oil Sands Advisory Group, the more I am convinced that she supports the Leap Manifesto and its ideals that would destroy Alberta’s economy.”
The Leap Manifesto advocates a swift end to the use of fossil fuels, and would result in the loss of 500,000 jobs in Canada’s oil and gas sector. While Premier Notley previously stated that the sections of the Leap Manifesto related to energy infrastructure are “ill-informed, naïve and tone deaf,” her appointment of Ms. Berman to a key co-chair position on a crucial panel that will determine the energy industry’s future in the province speaks otherwise.
“Albertans deserve better than a government that claims to be opposed to the Leap Manifesto, but then appoints someone with extreme views on pipeline development to lead a key advisory group for the future of our province’s economy,” Wildrose Shadow Energy Minister Leela Aheer said. “In Mr. Lewis’ own words he points out that it is an Alberta government appointee who is now saying the very same things that so-called ‘Leapers’ were excoriated for saying just last spring.”
Wildrose has called on the Premier to immediately remove Ms. Berman from the panel, and to replace her with an individual who is able to balance an environmental viewpoint while recognizing the importance of growing Alberta’s energy sector.