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Mayor Don Scott favours potential visit from federal cabinet

PHOTO. RMWB Mayor Don Scott said he supports Alberta Senator Doug Black in his letter to the federal government for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal cabinet to visit the energy sector in Alberta. Supplied by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Mayor Don Scott said he supports the invitation adding he invited provincial and federal cabinets in the past.

Alberta Senator Doug Black invited Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to hold a cabinet meeting in the province.

In his letter, Black urged Trudeau to bring his cabinet to see first-hand what the senator calls the devastation caused by federal government policies.

Government impacts

Mayor Scott said our region is welcome to more of a presence by both branches of government.

“We have the benefit of having a fair number of [provincial] cabinet ministers visit this region, but very rarely do we see the federal government in this region, so this is a real opportunity I think for the federal government.”

He said he would meet with RMWB Council on Jan. 14 to discuss inviting the cabinet of the new Liberal minority government to Wood Buffalo.

“We’re the economic engine of Canada. They should come and see what’s happening up here, and make sure they’re attending to the needs up here. There has been a lack of federal investment in this region; they can see it first-hand when they come up here.”

In the 2019 federal election, Alberta and Saskatchewan elected no Liberals to the federal government.

Senator Black suggested Fort McMurray or Grande Prairie as ideal locations where the energy industry plays a large role economically.

“If this government is going to work for all Canadians, it should come to see the negative effects of their policies on those very same citizens and, if they come to Alberta, they will see not all Canadians have been treated fairly.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited in spring of 2018, and Mayor Scott said he’s optimistic what another visit would bring.

However, he added the lack of presence by the federal government is a real challenge.

“We’re producing all this wealth that every Canadian benefit from, but at the same time we’re not seeing the federal government re-invest back, not only in Alberta but in this region in particular. There [are] so many potential projects that could benefit all Canadians if we open up more resources.”

He added he is also open to welcoming individual cabinet ministers to address TMX, the East Clearwater Highway, and the state of Indigenous communities in rural hamlets.

Mayor Don Scott said visits count when it’s time to make decisions.

Council meets on Jan. 14, 2020, at the Syncrude Athletic Park Clubhouse.