Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Questions for the Candidates: Economic Diversification & Foreign Ownership

Question #3 addresses economic diversification.  This tends to be something I believe is important.

All parties in Alberta have paid lip service to the idea that our economy must move away from its dependence on petroleum.  But I have yet to hear of anything concrete.

I also fear that any attempt to develop other sources of revenue in our province, especially those exploiting natural resources, will end up in the same hopeless mess that petroleum is in now.

Even though Alberta's gas and oil reserves are found beneath our feet, we have little or no control over its exploitation and distribution. I see most of our petroleum industry owned and controlled by foreign interests.  The price Albertans pay for gasoline processed from our Alberta oil is seemingly decided by folks in Houston, Denver, and Beijing -- not Calgary.

Oil companies take home some huge profits from our oil and gas reserves, higher than almost everywhere else in the world!  What's to prevent any new industries, created to diversify our economy, from going the same way?

Question #3;  If your party forms Alberta's next government, how will you ensure that your efforts to diversify our economy will not turn into another foreign ownership fiasco like the petroleum industry?

1 comment:

  1. Another great question… I feel like I’m getting my ‘work out’ so early this Saturday morning, Mayor Courtman!

    Alberta has so many advantages. Alberta’s agriculture industry drives $77 billion in economic activity each year. I will make sure the next generation of farmers can attract the capital they need and access markets around the world.

    Our government will put in place the conditions to help Alberta’s energy sector become the most competitive in the world – and help our farmers, ranchers and food industries thrive in a world that needs more of what we produce.

    Alberta is a hub of innovation for health care, technology and biotech. We house banks, national corporate headquarters and high tech companies.

    Alberta is already a significant global player in the ethane value chain. If I am MLA, I will work to ensure the investment conditions are right for businesses looking to develop a similar petrochemical chain using propane, where we turn natural gas liquids into materials like plastics.

    My goal, in the broadest possible sense, is to transform Alberta from a North American-centered commodity producer to a global provider and marketer of energy, agri-food and forestry products. This applies to raw products but also to value-added exports, as well as services and technologies.

    When it comes to agriculture and forestry, that means securing trade agreements and more advanced trading relationships. It also means ensuring there are ports and terminals to get our grains, our food and our forestry products to overseas customers.

    Again, Mayor Courtman, thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss a topic of importance to the constituents of Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills. Economic Diversification is a key action within The Prentice Plan, our election platform. Here is a link to it if you’d like to consider our plan in its entirety:

    Wade Bearchell
    PC Alberta candidate, Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills