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Alberta Premier: Oil & Gas Jobs Will Remain Here, Criticizes Canada’s “Just Transition” 

Danielle Smith Alberta Premier
(Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says she is ready to collaborate with Ottawa to decrease carbon emissions, and will “fight” the prime minister over the “just transition” bill.

She also claimed that Alberta’s new sovereignty act is one to fight the bill tool.

The Liberal administration of Justin Trudeau claims the yet-to-be-introduced bill will help workers by creating potential jobs in “clean sources of energy,” but Smith is not convinced that this is the case.

“The reality is these industries will not disappear. We are not phasing out oil. We are not phasing out natural gas. Oil and natural gas are going to be an essential part of the economy for decades to come,” said Smith on Tuesday.

“[The federal Liberals] think that this industry is going to be wound down and that these high-paying, good jobs are going to be eliminated. And that’s what I object to. We have to reject that paradigm. That’s just not going to happen.”

Smith tweeted that Trudeau’s bill “will eliminate 2.7 million jobs – according to a Liberal memo.”

Smith obtained the number from a ministerial briefing note.  It is the total number of jobs in all fields that are expected to change as a low-carbon economy grows.

The document says that although the economy is expected to grow during this transition, areas that rely a lot on fossil fuels to make energy will be hit the hardest. This includes areas like Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

In the note, it says that bigger changes will happen in several sectors, like energy, agriculture, and forestry, to help meet emissions targets.

It also says that the change to a “low-carbon economy” could cause 50–75% of workers in the oil and gas sector to lose their jobs by 2050, whether they work directly or indirectly.

The premier has stated that while she is in favour of these technological advances, she would prefer that Ottawa refrain from using the term “just transition” and instead let Alberta take the lead.

“I have had one conversation, which was a courtesy call, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau where I told him that Alberta was onboard with the notion of carbon neutrality. That we had the Pathways Project, our petrochemical industry, Dow Chemical, Air Products, that are all working on carbon-neutral projects,” she said.

“I told him that we were interested in exporting LNG and getting credit for reducing international emissions. I told him that we were sending someone to COP27 to tell the good news story on carbon capture and storage. That was my one and only conversation with the prime minister.”

Smith stated that she is available for meetings or conversations with Trudeau at any time, but that it is “not acceptable” for him to keep spreading “tension and division” through this legislation.

Original source material for this article taken from here

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Written by Olivia Woods

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