EDMONTON — A new legislature sitting has begun with the Alberta government promising to invest directly in oil and gas, if necessary, and to pass a law that would punish people who block roads and rail lines.
The throne speech read by Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell says Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative government will be introducing a long-term blueprint for jobs.
The speech says the province is prepared to invest directly and support companies in the resource industry if that’s what it takes to boost Alberta’s wellspring industry.
The government also is expected to table a bill today that proposes stiffer penalties for anyone who tries to shut down critical economic infrastructure, including railways.
Kenney has criticized protesters who have set up blockades on rail lines in support of the hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, who oppose a natural gas pipeline project on their land in British Columbia.
The Opposition NDP gave some of its legislature tickets for the throne speech to Albertans who it says have been hurt by job losses and changes to health and education funding.
NDP Leader Rachel Notley says the changes are having a major impact on people’s lives and she wanted to give Kenney a chance to look those people in the eye.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2020