In my work as the Member of Parliament for Battle River—Crowfoot, advancing our nation, on all fronts is key and often forgotten… This includes the economy, the environment, and Government. However, we cannot forget the industries which made Canada one of the most prosperous nations on the planet, and what the consequences would be if this is forgotten.
Canada’s oil and gas industry is a great example of this. Energy made Alberta into the economic powerhouse which fuels our nation. All while becoming more efficient, environmentally friendly, and ethical. Innovations such as carbon capture technologies, land reclamation practices, and improved drilling and mining techniques are instrumental in making sure our oil and gas industry not only prospers but leads the world in environmental and social benefits.
The Canadian energy industry recognizes the less they waste, the more prosperity is generated for Canadians. Conservatives understand the balance between the environment and the economy does not need to be a compromise. We know that innovation is possible, but using things like taxes and mandates is the heavy hand of government intervention that has a history of failing to meet objectives and targets, while also hurting the economy.
Not recognizing these things can have long-lasting implications where people suffer, the environment suffers, and the economy suffers. The Liberal Government’s move toward an electric vehicle mandate (EVs) is a clear-cut example of this imbalance. The lack of charging stations and other infrastructure for EVs in rural areas and the bitter Canadian winters challenge how this technology works in rural Alberta and areas like it. This is in addition to the demands on the power grid, and the supply chains for materials to make batteries, their safe disposal, and manufacturing capacity. For example, when compared to a gas-fuelled engine, the lack of range an EV has is far too risky for a rural driver. And that risk is greater in the winter.
Let’s be clear: no one should be denied the opportunity to buy an electric vehicle if they make that decision, but until these serious issues with EVs can be addressed and consumers have confidence in the solutions, the currently proposed mandates will not only not work, but they could have devastating consequences. And the solution is simple, encourage innovation and allow those innovators to develop the solutions, and if they are better the market will drive the change. Using policies to punish Canadians is not going to be an effective tool that leads to a net benefit to our nation, its people, and our economy.
Reality should drive policies, not personal agendas. As the vice-chair for the Environment Committee and the Member of Parliament for a large, rural constituency which is reliant on the oil and gas industry, showing that the environment and industry can coexist is key. When it comes to new legislation, and all the work I do, my Conservative colleagues and I, consider what the real-life implications are for the people of Canada.
Progress and innovation are happening, and will solve the many problems we face. Problems occur when government steps in and mandates the use or implementation of a certain technology for partisan reasons. They do not take into account the consequences of picking winners and losers.
We will look to the future and innovate, and we can also look at the best path forward for Canadians given the current state of tech and the economy. Especially at a time when mismanagement and mistakes will make the affordability crisis we face worse, and will hurt the environment.