A delegation of some of Alberta’s most prominent business leaders descended on Ottawa Wednesday to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and discuss the pace of his government’s decarbonization plans and their effects on cost of living.
Led by a consortium of Alberta economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, and policy organizations, the delegation was comprised of over 50 CEOs, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders.
Self-dubbed “One Alberta, One Canada,” the delegation heard from Trudeau in the afternoon – who used the meeting as an opportunity to take jabs at “certain politicians.”
“Our government has made a significant commitment to being a partner with the business community in our collective work to build a clean economy. We’ve committed billions through investment tax credits for CCS, clean electricity and clean technology,” said Trudeau.
“Unfortunately, there are politicians who’d rather rile up people’s fears and anxieties. Instead of focusing on what we can do, what we need to do to secure a strong future for our economy. We need to make the very best use of the know-how of our energy industry and energy workers so we can make sure that Canada continues to lead.”
Some delegates expressed concerns about the pace of the government’s net-zero policies.
“We share a lot of the aspirations of the federal government when it comes to decarbonization,” Cenovus Energy executive chair Alex Pourbaix told the Canadian Press.
“But we have to have very, very thoughtful discussions about the pace of that, and the impact on Canadians in terms of what it is going to mean to our cost of living, and what it is going to mean to our quality of life.”
The sizable gathering comes at a time when tensions between the federal government and Alberta Premier Danielle Smith are high.
Smith has vowed to not follow the Liberal government’s 2035 timeline to achieve a net zero electricity grid.
The Alberta government is currently overseeing an advertising campaign to educate Albertans about the potential harmful impacts of the federal Clean Electricity Regulations, which Smith claims could lead to rolling blackouts and an overburdened energy grid.A vast majority of Alberta’s energy comes from sources like natural gas. Recently, Smith said that she would be ready to employ the Sovereignty Act to oppose the federal plan.