February 4, 2016 — This morning PSAC President & CEO Mark Salkeld and the Board of Directors met in a “working energy” roundtable in Calgary with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta, federal Minister of Natural Resources James Carr, federal Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Kent Hehr and Alberta Minister of Energy Margaret McCuaig‑Boyd.
Salkeld said, “The meeting went extremely well from our perspective. Both the Prime Minister and the Premier acknowledged the significance of what oil and gas industry means for the province and for the country and in particular for PSAC member companies and oilfield services in general. They are both committed to helping this industry succeed and will be champions for Alberta and Canada and what it takes to bring this country together and support the energy industry for every Canadian’s success and wellbeing.”
Salkeld also said, “Most of the conversations ended with the reiteration that pipelines and access to tidewater will play a significant role in Canada’s future, that ultimately helps not only Canada as a whole but also areas of the world that will also benefit from our responsibly developed resources.”
The focus of the discussion was on the hard-hit energy industry – for us specifically, the oil and gas services sector – and what the federal government can do to put our member companies back to work. We explained the enormous contribution the petroleum services sector makes to the Canadian economy and how working families and communities across Canada have been impacted by plunging oil prices… not just Albertans.
We believe the federal government plays an important role in stepping up to become a champion for the oil and gas industry. Our member companies can help the federal government achieve its climate change, environmental and Indigenous relations goals by helping us get large infrastructure projects approved including pipelines.
We want the federal government to put oil and gas services companies and their employees back to work. Policies that encourage investment are the best way to protect jobs and assure the country’s ability to grow our middle class, fund our infrastructure and social programs, and continue to contribute to Canadian’s well-being.
Private industry has billions of dollars ready to invest, and Canada is fast getting an international reputation for not being able to get major projects done. The federal government needs to show leadership on this issue. We need to incent large infrastructure development projects which provide international market access for oil and gas.
The federal government is also interested in building relationships with Indigenous communities across Canada. In the sector today, we have thousands of Indigenous workers and the rate of aboriginal entrepreneurs in Canada’s oil and gas industry is three times higher compared to the rest of Canada (Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business).
Canada can and should be the leader in the global-scale technological innovation that is necessary to support the transition to a lower carbon economy. The ability to attract capital and talent is vital to ensuring that Canada remains part of the global search for technology-based solutions to reduce and manage emissions. But that can’t happen with a weakened industry. And it won’t happen by slowing down Canada’s oil and gas development.
Our ask is: Will Prime Minister Trudeau stand up for Canada as our champion and help the oil and gas industry get pipelines to tidewater?