Alberta Premier Danielle Smith unequivocally rejected the latest endeavor by the Trudeau administration to eradicate the Canadian oil and gas industry through the implementation of the Sustainable Jobs Act.
Ottawa is proceeding with their “Sustainable Jobs Act” (formerly called Just Transition).
— Danielle Smith (@ABDanielleSmith) June 16, 2023
In a statement on Friday, Smith emphasized that due to advancements in emissions reduction technologies, the jobs within the oil and gas sector are sustainable and will remain so for many years to come. She insisted that the federal government and its newly appointed advisory panel members must acknowledge this fact without any uncertainty.
Smith made it clear that Alberta would neither acknowledge, cooperate with, nor enforce any measures aimed at phasing out the province’s oil and gas industry or its workforce. This stance, she asserted, was non-negotiable.
She emphasized the importance of expediting this process to unlock investment potential — amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars, and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs for both Albertans and Canadians.
Smith’s response was prompted by an announcement made by federal Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson regarding the rebranding of the “Just Transition” legislation, now renamed the Sustainable Jobs Act, specifically targeting the oil and gas sector primarily located in Alberta.
Wilkinson stated the new legislation would introduce new opportunities for workers. Ironically, he reassured the relevance of Canada’s oil and gas industry, which seemed out of line with the policies he is trying to enact.
Wilkinson was short on details but emphasized the significance of Canada’s role as a global exemplar in sustainable job creation and advocated for prudent choices.
Smith staunchly disagreed with Wilkinson’s propositions, reiterating the development of Alberta’s natural resources and the regulation of its energy sector workforce was within the constitutional rights of the province.
She emphasized that any recommendations put forth by the new federal advisory council must align with Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan. Smith criticized Trudeau’s directive to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, deeming it an unattainable target.
In Smith’s view, the fight against such impositions must be waged vigorously, utilizing all available means. She cited the clarity of the Constitution, affirming Alberta’s right to develop its resources in its own manner.