There seems to be a narrative out there that the crash of the oil industry can somehow be laid at the feet of Rachel Notley’s government. In truth, oil prices tanked long before she was elected.
Understandably families who have long worked in the oil industry are hurting, and it’s not surprising that there is considerable anger over losing those high-paying jobs. The fact that this anger is being misdirected at Notley, however is unfortunate. It is unfortunate because her different way of doing things is exactly what this province needs if we are to become successful in the new global economy.
While partnering with the oil industry and environmentalists, Notley initiated a made-in-Alberta climate change program. In so doing, Premier Notley has been able to make our so-called “dirty” oil more acceptable to global markets. While continuing to advocate for pipelines, she has worked tirelessly to diversify our economy, to address the infrastructure deficit and to keep Albertans working. And she has done all this while cutting child poverty in half, freezing post-secondary tuitions and providing stability to our health and education systems. The Notley government has put Albertans back to work by building 240 schools, a Calgary cancer centre, and by investing in solar and other alternative energy solutions. She has also brought clean water to two First Nations communities.
For 40 years, successive Conservative governments have mismanaged our economy, squandering oil revenues while failing to build hospitals, schools and roads. Turning back the clock and wishing things were the way they used to be is not a useful response – it is just that, wishful thinking.
The world has changed, and Alberta also needs to change if our economy is going to survive into the future. Rachel Notley is the visionary leader we need to create an economy that works for all Albertans.
Debra Ransom, St. Albert