Posted on Nov 27, 2019

UCP failing economy and Albertans

Premier Kenney and his UCP government have abandoned diversification efforts forfeiting 17,900 jobs and $19.1 billion in investment.

“The UCP’s $4.7 billion corporate handout still hasn’t created a single job to date. And in order to pay for their corporate handout, they’re cutting job creating programs that would grow and diversify our economy. The UCP are failing our economy and Albertans.”

In the recent budget, the UCP cancelled tax credits and incentives that would grow the petrochemical, tech, digital media, and energy efficiency industries. These incentives had a proven record of attracting investment that led to jobs and economic diversification. 

“Just as businesses in these industries were starting to take off, the UCP have pulled the rug out from under them,” said Deron Bilous, NDP Critic for Economic Development, Trade and Tourism. “A lot of these companies are now looking elsewhere - taking jobs and investment with them. Instead of cuts, we need to invest in building a modern, diversified economy.”

This comes after the UCP extended curtailment for another year after refusing to honour oil-by-rail contracts that would have moved 120,000 barrels of oil per day. The curtailment extension has led to a lack of investment and jobs in the industry and the UCP’s $4.7 billion corporate handout has not led to the jobs promised by Kenney and the UCP. Since the handout was implemented, there have been 11,300 jobs lost in the natural resource sector. 

The UCP also chose to end the Renewable Electricity Program (REP) earlier this year, which set a target 30 per cent renewables by 2030. Cancellation of REP means the government will no longer reach its targets according to the Alberta Electricity System Operator (AESO). Based on the AESO projections, the result will be a loss of $5.25 billion in investment and 3,600 jobs in the renewable energy sector.

“The UCP have failed our energy sector - oil and gas and renewables. Their mismanagement and short-sighted decisions have led to thousands of jobs being lost and billions in investment chased away from Alberta. They’ve broken their main campaign promise to Albertans,” said Irfan Sabir, NDP Energy Critic.