Market access will be a ballot-box issue

Alberta’s economy is experiencing a strange problem.

We have a strong workforce that is producing high quality products, with customers waiting to buy these products. However, our people can’t get these products to the buyers who want them. This is because of political failure, both provincially and federally.

Pipelines can’t get built, much of our oil can’t get to market, and when it does, we get paid a fraction of its actual value.

Farmers face rail lines clogged with oil cars, and important markets like India have shut their doors to our agricultural products due to political and regulatory fights.

These problems have dragged on for years, costing jobs and shutting down businesses. And despite the rhetoric from the Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau governments — and a carbon tax that was supposed to be a quick fix — solutions seem as distant as ever.

The United Conservative Party will not just pay lip service to these problem. We aren’t just opposing Notley’s rhetoric and her carbon tax. We are working hard to replace the NDP government and its disastrous ideological policies with a better government that has forward-looking policies and practical solutions.

As the UCP’s trade critic, I spent this summer meeting with Alberta businesses to hear what they need from their government, so they can create new jobs and get our economy back on track.

I travelled to Washington, D.C., and with UCP Leader Jason Kenney to India, to make connections with government officials and business leaders, so we can hit the ground running after the election to deliver market access for our oil and agricultural producers.

We have begun to build a national coalition that will get our pipelines built and get rid of Trudeau’s carbon tax.

This was evidenced by a huge carbon tax rally with Ontario Premier Doug Ford in Calgary and the UCP’s work with the governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba in lobbying against federal taxes, laws and regulations that are anti-pipeline and anti-business.

These are all things the Notley government could have been doing over the past four years, but it did not. Instead, the NDP chose to make an alliance with Trudeau and support his misguided policies. This NDP-Trudeau alliance failed Albertans.

The past four years have been very difficult for Alberta businesses and Alberta workers. With the election of a UCP government in 2019, we will put these bad times behind us.

We will move forward with improving conditions that will allow Albertans and Alberta businesses to grow and prosper.

Devin Dreeshen is United Conservative Party MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake.

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