Alberta is blessed with an amazing natural endowment of natural resources that has become a magnet for young people and young families across Canada. Alberta is now home to 4 million people and we are attracting over 100,000 new people every year who move here to take advantage of our booming economy led by our natural resources sector. Half of Alberta’s GDP comes from the extraction and development of oil and gas while hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on the continued health of this industry.
The U.S. is virtually Canada's only foreign market for oil and gas accounting for 98% of our petroleum exports and nearly 100% of our natural gas exports. The lack of access to global markets often forces Canadian producers to accept lower prices. This is costing the Canadian economy up to $50 million dollars a day in lost revenues.
What does $50 million dollars mean to Calgary?
It means a new school that could be built every day in our fast growing suburbs. Families would not have to place their kids on waiting list or put their kids on a bus for hours every day.
It means we could finance the construction of the Southeast LRT Segment and help get the southeast communities moving again. By 2039, an additional 118,000 people will call the communities in the Southeast of Calgary home and the LRT could help move 70,000 daily.
We are facing well funded international environmental activists who are attacking our environmental record and demanding the shutdown of the Alberta oilsands. A recent IHS CERA study compared the economic impact of the oilsands to the total economic output of Saskatchewan.
We must not apologize for the Canadian ingenuity that unlocked this resource, instead let's continue to highlight the increase in prosperity from our resources, our strong regulatory framework already in place and the new emerging technologies that are reducing the environmental impact of energy development.
I am committed to defending our energy industry and the hardworking men and women who work every day to ensure we maintain the highest standards in environmental stewardship.