Central Alberta MPs slam throne speech

Natural resources and agriculture sectors ignored and pandemic response inadequate, say MPs

Central Alberta Conservative MPs have slammed the Liberals’ throne speech for ignoring the hard-hit energy sector and farmers, while failing to provide more pandemic funding for provinces.

Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins said there was little mention of the natural resources that are such an important economic driver for Alberta and Canada.

“On the same day that StatsCan reported that employment in the energy sector fell by 23,600 jobs between the beginning of April and the end of June, the only reference to support for the energy sector related to transitioning to net-zero emissions,” said Calkins in a statement about the Trudeau government’s plans for the future.

“The word agriculture didn’t even make it into the document.”

Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen also criticized the Liberal government for failing to assist the natural resources sector, “which has now suffered the steepest decline in employment ever recorded.”

Dreeshen also says the government has “consistently failed Canada’s farmers, ranchers and producers.”

Also under fire from the MPs is the government’s COVID-19 response. They criticized “poorly designed assistance programs,” insufficient testing compared with many other countries, and the failure to approve additional health funding to help provinces deal with the pandemic.

Premier Jason Kenney called on the federal government to free up $6.5 billion for the province in fiscal stabilization payments to help cover health costs and restart the economy.

In his response to the throne speech on Thursday, Kenney said the prime minister’s agenda spectacularly missed the mark for Alberta.

Both MPs also said Trudeau failed to address growing western alienation and ignored advice from the Conservative caucus chairs from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, who urged the prime minister to “switch course” to represent all Canadians.


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