The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion must be built – by Rachel Notley (Vancouver Sun – May 22, 2018)

For a number of years, I lived in Vancouver. I loved it. Diverse, and forward-looking, Vancouver embodies so much about what makes Canada great. My feelings about Vancouver are shared by countless Albertans who have deep roots in B.C. through family, friends and business.

So when Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says that Alberta’s energy industry “represents a tiny fraction of the overall economy and job count,” Albertans quite rightly get their backs up. In a country as diverse as ours, we are bound to have disputes, but it is important that we base our arguments on facts, not convenient fictions.

So let me correct the record.

Tens of thousands of British Columbians work in Alberta and pay taxes in B.C. — 50,000 at last count. The energy sector contributes 10 per cent to Canada’s GDP, and mining, oil and gas is responsible for 28 per cent of private non-residential investment in B.C. and employs hundreds of thousands of Canadians. So, Mayor Robertson is wrong. Canada’s energy industry is hugely important to the national economy, including B.C.’s.

While benefits of a strong energy industry are shared by working women and men across the country, Canadians also share a deep environmental ethic. My government was elected, in part, on a commitment to overturn decades of Conservative environmental neglect.

The energy industry, environmental organizations, First Nations and ordinary Albertans developed a climate leadership plan that establishes an economy-wide price on carbon, phases out coal, reduces methane, incentivizes green technology, and caps emissions.

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