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January 28, 2019

Jobs matter: NDP government must explain curtailment change

Dave Hanson, United Conservative MLA for Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills, and Scott Cyr, United Conservative MLA for Bonnyville-Cold Lake, have issued the following statement:

“This past week we learned that 500 to 1,000 Albertans may lose their jobs in our region as the result of a recent change by the NDP government to the oil curtailment formula.

“During the holiday break, the Government made a change to its original curtailment calculations. To date, we have received no explanation from the government.

“Nearly three weeks ago, our United Conservative Energy Critic Prasad Panda sent a letter to the NDP’s Energy Minister asking for updates on the curtailment plan, given continued uncertainty. The government has not bothered to reply, let alone offer a briefing.

“The NDP Energy Minister needs to come to our community and explain their change. It is simply not acceptable for the government to hide from a decision that stands to cost hundreds of Albertans in our community their jobs.

“Continually changing rules from the provincial and federal governments are only adding more uncertainty for families who depend on our energy sector.

“United Conservatives called for and support temporary curtailment as a measure that prevented wider job losses from the low price of oil at the end of 2018. We recognize that a persistent massive price differential would have almost certainly results in major job losses, not just in our region, but across Alberta.

“That said, our support for curtailment as a temporary measure was never meant as a blank cheque for the government, and today, we are calling on the NDP government to explain this formula change decision.

“The Alberta families and communities affected by this decision deserve answers.

“This situation is a direct consequence of the failure to build new pipelines in recent years, including the deliberate cancellation of multiple viable pipeline projects by the Trudeau Liberal government that the Alberta NDP government blindly trusted. It remains outrageous that Alberta was brought to the point where such a grave decision as curtailment even needed to be considered, let alone implemented.”