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Notley's 'beating down' of the oil patch should cost her the election

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Earlier this year, Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer released a report that should have informed Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just how costly it is to delay large projects.

The Jan. 31 report states that a one-year delay in completing the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) — which the federal government purchased for $4.4 billion in August 2018, along with the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline — “would reduce the value of the TMEP by $693 million.”

You’d think, therefore, that the feds would giddy up when it comes to reducing red tape for every large infrastructure project from proceeding. But that’s not the case.

The president and CEO of Prosper Petroleum, Brad Gardiner, says he very nearly choked on his coffee when he read a recent political advertisement from Notley Tuesday morning.

“She actually wrote, ‘(Jason) Kenney’s plan leaves our oil in the ground.’ I mean, it’s galling,” he said of Notley’s statement.

It’s no wonder Gardiner feels this way. His firm — a 97-per-cent Alberta-owned company — has been waiting 5½ years to have its oilsands project go through the regulatory process to start its 10,000 barrel-per-day SAG-D project. A 2013 provincial government report said: “Construction is scheduled to begin in late-2015, with first oil in early 2017.”

But then the NDP came to power. Gardiner, a civil engineer, says if he believed in conspiracy theories, he would assume the Alberta Energy Regulator “was doing everything it could to slow this down.”


© Calgary Herald