Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman was among a diverse group of Canadian politicians who spoke with a clear message of unity supporting oil and gas at a rally in Calgary on Tuesday.
An estimated 4,000 people attended the rally outside the Global Petroleum Show, where Ackerman, Quebec Conservative MP Gérard Deltell, Ontario Energy Minister Greg Rickford, Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage, BC Liberal MLA Ellis Ross, and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe spoke about their support for responsible resource development, and against the federal government’s “devastating” bills, C-48 and C-69.
"We are Canadians and I believe in my little Canadian heart that we have the ability to change the conversation and take the reins of our future, and help our colleagues understand that resource communities are foundational to this nation," Ackerman said.
"Municipalities and residents of this nation have the right to expect government to create legislation and regulation that is not discriminatory and arbitrary in nature. So, Bill C-69 and 48 have got to go."
Savage reiterated the Alberta government’s intention to immediately launch constitutional challenges if C-69 is passed in “anything like” its original form, or if C-48 is passed at all.
Both pieces of legislation, which, respectively would overhaul the approval process for major projects and ban oil tanker traffic on the B.C. north coast, are “devastating” for the industry and “arbitrary in nature,” speakers said.
BC MLA Ross said the bills are an attack on Alberta.
“The fight against Alberta, is the fight against Canada. It doesn’t make any sense,” he said.
“The majority of Canadians want oil and gas. They understand the future is still in oil and gas, regardless of what happens with renewables. In fact, you need oil and gas for renewable industries. It’s our shame that our leaders want a resource-rich country like Canada to go down the toilet for political ideologies.”
Last week, the Senate passed Bill C-48, as well as Bill C-69, albeit the latter with more than 180 amendments. Both bills still have to be approved by the House of Commons.
Ottawa's vote on whether to approve the Trans Mountain expansion is expected by June 18.
— with JWN Energy files