Trudeau under fire after suggesting it's time to phase out Alberta's oil sands
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing a lot of heat after suggesting Canada needs to phase out the oil sands.
Trudeau made the comments at a town hall meeting in Ontario just weeks after approving pipelines.
“We can’t shut down the oil sands tomorrow,” he said. “We need to phase them out, we need to manage the transition off our dependence on fossil fuels. That is going to take time and in the meantime we need to manage the transition.”
The comments are making waves in our province.
Matt LeBlanc has been making tiny parts for massive oil wells for 10 years and many of his co-workers at A.C. Machine Works have been laid off over the last two years.
“It’s definitely part of Alberta. It makes a lot of money and it makes a lot of money for everyone in Alberta so I wouldn’t agree with closing that.”
The leader of Alberta’s opposition, Brian Jean has much harsher words for the prime minister.
“I’m really sick and tired of people attacking our oilsands and our economy and our economic engine of our entire country,” Jean said. “If Justin Trudeau plans on shutting down and phasing out our oil sands, he’s going to have to come through four million people and me before he is able to do it.”
However, Premier Rachel Notley is much more forgiving says his remarks are being misinterpreted.
“I don’t really expect he was talking about any kind of short term phase out because you wouldn’t approve two pipelines to tidewater if that’s what you thought.”
Those whose livelihoods depend on the oil sands say it’s hard not to be insulted.
“With all the money that Alberta sends back to the east coast, it's hard to say that we're not part, or we're not doing our part our here,” says LeBlanc. “It’s definitely not what you want to hear.”
“I think Canadians need to be aware that if indeed he goes through with his plan Canada will be much poorer as a result,” says jean.
The Alberta Liberal Party stated it is giving Trudeau the benefit of the doubt but they want him to clarify exactly what he meant because the oil sands are important to Alberta’s economy.