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Alberta Conservative caucus demands action be taken on Energy East

Last Updated Sep 23, 2016 at 11:27 am MDT

Alberta Conservative Members of Parliament say the thousands of people out of work in the oil and gas sector can no longer afford to wait and they’re demanding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take action on Energy East.

The beleagured pipeline’s regulatory review is still on hold after the National Energy Board recently stepped down over allegations of bias.

“The biggest concern for us is the review process with Energy East, the review board recusing themselves, we haven’t heard a single word from the Prime Minister in hopes of getting this process back up and running, get this review process expediated. We’ve seen the ramifications of this across the country but 125,000 energy workers in Alberta who are unemployed, they’re stuggling to make mortage payments, put their kids through hockey, this can’t be delayed,” said Foothills M.P. John Barlow.

Barlow, who also serves as the Deputy Critic for Workforce, Employment and Labour, says they’re not asking Justin Trudeau to circumnavigate the process but to at least stand up for the Alberta energy industry.

“We need it sooner, not later,” he said.

“We’ve seen what’s happening in Alberta, in my riding of Alberta to see Western Feedlots to announce its closure this year, they’re closing it because of the impending carbon tax from the NDP and the Liberals, you can’t function like that.”

Barlow says it’s not just the energy sector, it’s had a ripple effect through other industries.

“Take a leadership role, advocate for these projects, tell people about Canada’s best-in-the-world regulatory regime and show some confidence in it.”

He says seeing the panel put on hold with Energy East was an over reaction and a step to appease the vocal minority.

“We’re capitulating to something that doesn’t have Albertans best interests at heart.”

The former journalist says Alberta’s unemployment rate is the highest it’s been since the 1980s and fears things are going to get worse before it gets better.

“Low oil prices are not the only reason that investment is fleeing Canada, one of the main reason is indecision and bad policies.”

“Canada is still here and it’s open for business.”