Emergency debate on Alberta jobs crisis refused by Speaker
For Immediate Release
November 23, 2016, Ottawa - Earlier today, Tom Kmiec, Member of Parliament for Calgary Shepard gave the Speaker of the House of Commons written notice to move the adjournment of the House to trigger an emergency debate on the jobs crisis in the Alberta energy sector, pursuant to Standing Order 52.
MP Kmiec expressed his disappointment; “This is about respect for Alberta families and workers who are being ignored. It is easy for politicians in Ottawa to ignore the suffering in Alberta; too easy. An emergency debate is a must for the issues affecting our constituents to be heard and placed on the national agenda.”
In the past, emergency debates have been granted on softwood lumber job losses on November 1, 2001, on the fisheries industry on April 28, 2003, and on the livestock industry on February 13, 2008.
Albertans today are facing the worst economic headwinds in several generations and the impact of the Alberta recession goes far beyond its provincial borders. With over 122,000 energy workers out of work since the oil crash, province-wide unemployment sits at 8.5%, while Edmonton’s unemployment is at 6.9% and Calgary’s is climbing unabated, hitting 10.2% in October.
1 in 9 Calgarians are now using food banks with Alberta experiencing a usage increase of 60% since the beginning of the downturn. The vacancy rate for commercial lease space is climbing to record highs of 30% and this year over 11,000 businesses have failed or moved in Calgary.
Media Contact: Jeff Park, Constituency Assistant
Tel: (403) 462-7871
Official Photos: Available Upon Request
MP Kmiec’s Speech in House Today
“Mr. Speaker, I wrote to you to press for an emergency debate on the jobs crisis in the Alberta energy sector pursuant to Standing Order 52.
Albertans are facing the worst economic headwinds in several generations. Over 122,000 energy workers have lost their jobs since the oil crash and Alberta's unemployment rate now sits at 8.5%. Calgary's unemployment rate is 10.2% and climbing unabated. In Edmonton, excluding the public sector, it is over 10%.
The vacancy rate for commercial lease space is climbing to record highs of 30%, and this year, over 11,000 businesses have failed or moved in Calgary. This small business extinction is unlike anything we have seen in 40 years.
A generation of young Albertans have no jobs waiting for them upon graduation. One in nine Calgarians are now using the food bank. Food bank use is up 60% across Alberta. Divorce rates are at record highs, substance abuse of fentanyl is rampant, and domestic abuse is on the rise. Our communities are suffering. Families are struggling, and a generation of young people have no career prospects.
The impact of the Alberta recession goes far beyond its provincial borders. Pipeline manufacturers, skilled workers in Atlantic Canada, and the financial services sector in Toronto are deeply invested in the mining and energy industries.
I draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to past emergency debates granted on softwood lumber job losses on November 1, 2001 on page 6807 in the Commons Debates, and on the fisheries industry job losses on April 28, 2003 in the Commons Debates on page 5456, and finally on the livestock industry job losses on February 13, 2008 on page 3012 in the Commons Debates.
Mr. Speaker, I humbly ask you, on behalf of Alberta families, give us a chance to be heard here on the impact of the disastrous jobs losses in the energy sector and the "knock on" effect all across Canada.”
View Video of MP Kmiec's Statement