The Hon. Sonya Savage is Alberta’s Minister of Energy and the MLA for Calgary-North West. Savage is endorsing Travis Toews for leader of the United Conservative Party and Premier of Alberta.
I just returned from Norway where I attended ONS, the largest energy show in Europe. Over 61,000 people from the energy industry gathered in Stavanger, Norway, to celebrate the energy sector and look to its future.
We are in the midst of a global energy crisis at the same time as geopolitical uncertainty with the weaponization of energy by Russia, but the conference was filled with optimism about how those challenges can be met.
Alberta is positioned to be at the centre of the future of energy, and there is huge interest and confidence in our abilities. It’s not only in our oil and gas production as the world’s third-largest oil reserve, or our natural gas production, there are also new opportunities in hydrogen, carbon capture technologies, critical minerals, helium, geothermal, and small modular reactors.
We are leaders in the energy sector and that is finally, after years of hard work, being recognized globally.
But all of that is at risk if we continue down the path of Danielle Smith’s proposed Sovereignty Act.
We all have a right to be angry about the Trudeau government’s treatment of Alberta’s energy sector. We know the story well: killing the Northern Gateway and Energy East pipelines, destroying prospects to get natural gas to market. And now, at a time when Europe desperately needs more natural gas, it’s tragic that we don’t have the infrastructure to respond. And that failure falls at the feet of Ottawa’s Liberal government.
But I can tell you, for certain, that the Sovereignty Act is NOT the solution. Implementing the Sovereignty Act would create instability and chaos.
It is already doing that. I had international investors concerned about their assets in Alberta asking about what was going on with the Sovereignty Act.
The Act could rob us of much of the future prosperity that Alberta is on the cusp of achieving. Just as Ottawa robbed us in the past, the Sovereignty Act could squander future opportunities. That’s because it could spook investors who will then look to invest in more stable jurisdictions instead.
In fact, the Sovereignty Act might be just as harmful to Alberta’s future as the Trudeau Liberals have been to our past.
Investors want certainty and predictability. They want to know that places where they build and invest are stable and abide by the rule of law. They want to know that governments follow the law, don’t rip up contracts, and don’t interfere with the courts and law enforcement. They want to know that they are investing in a democracy, not a place where politicians can ignore the laws and the courts.
And that is the proposed Sovereignty Act in a nutshell. Literally.
The potential tragedy unfolding here is that while the energy sector all over the world is looking toward a bright future, here we are in Alberta creating constitutional chaos. We need to alter course and park the unconstitutional Sovereignty Act.
Alberta is poised to be central to global energy security. The Sovereignty Act has the potential to be as harmful to Alberta’s future as Ottawa Liberals have been to our past.
We have the opportunity now to be part of a bright energy future and the next leader of our party and Premier of Alberta will make all the difference.