MLA Mark Smith, Drayton Valley- Devon. File photo.

MLA Mark Smith, Drayton Valley- Devon. File photo.

Mark Smith: The Importance of Alberta’s Energy Sector

MLA Mark Smith

The Importance of Alberta’s Energy Sector

As Albertans, we truly understand how important the energy sector is to the economic success of our province and here in the riding of Drayton Valley-Devon, our local economy literally depends on oil and gas investments and business. Our hard work as a province also plays a significant role in the overall GDP of Canada. Energy is the largest sub sector of our country’s economy, accounting for $221 billion, or 10.6 per cent of nominal GDP in 2018. Our local industries are crucial to Canada, which makes the continuous political backhanding from Ottawa all the more frustrating.

These last few years have been difficult and our local economy has been hard hit for a variety of reasons, however time and time again we have seen a complete lack of response from our leaders in the federal government. Far from sympathy, we’ve in fact been handed down countless legislation that not only imposes, but inhibits Canada’s resource industry. Bill C-69, a total ban on tanker ship access along B.C.’s coast, directly prevents Alberta from ever successfully exporting oil west through the Pacific Ocean. Our oil and gas works have seen layoffs by the thousands but when an Ontario manufacturer went under, federal bailouts were immediately onhand. While Alberta businesses create thousands of jobs and contribute billions to Ontario’s GDP and markets, continued gestures like this from our Liberal counterparts have ensured that our local businesses will see fewer investment opportunities and less work for local citizens.

The good news is, despite these impediments, Albertans, and our oil and gas sector continue to make huge strides in technology and scientific advancement. Since 2000, Oil Sands emissions have decreased by 28 per cent. We are also at the absolute forefront of methane emissions reduction. An Alberta startup recently started earning international attention by helping limit methane production through a small air compressor that runs off a hybrid natural gas/solar generator. Methane, a gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, is part of the natural gas extraction process and accounted for 13 per cent of Canada’s total GHG emissions with 43 per cent of that coming from oil and gas sectors. There is no question that Canadian resource extraction maintains the most ethically produced and environmentally sourced practices in the world. Recently approved projects like LNG are already having a positive impact on local economies and oil sands producers have spent $13 billion in collaboration with Indigenous-owned businesses since 2012, including a record $2.1 billion in 2018. These types of large scale investments distribute money across various industries and communities and are helping families across Alberta get back on their feet.

While 2020 has been difficult, and Alberta hasn’t always received the support it deserves, our province continues to develop, grow and succeed, in no small part to the incredible individuals who call our province home.

-MLA Mark Smith

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Black Press file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP execute search warrant; illegal drugs seized

Two Wetaskiwin residents have been charged with possession and trafficking of Methamphetamine.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

Alberta premier Jason Kenney, right and Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, provide details about Bill 13, the Alberta Senate Election Act., in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday June 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Minister Doug Schweitzer talks on Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

Provincial government rolling out new benefit this April to better help small businesses.

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students, central Alberta community celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre supports anti-bullying cause

Most Read