City council continued to bolster its advocacy for the Trans Mountain pipeline during the regular Monday meeting.
According to council notes, “City of Red Deer’s economic development objectives would be served by participating positively in national energy discussions.
“Administration recommends council provide advocacy resolutions regarding support for construction of new pipelines and expansion of existing infrastructure to transport Alberta oil and gas through improved market access.”
To that end, councillors spoke up in support of pipeline construction and expansion with plans for further advocacy to both provincial and federal levels of government. The estimated impact to Alberta from the oil and gas economic crisis is estimated at $15 billion per year loss.
“Somewhere out there, sense and sensibility has to return to the legislative process of this country,” said Coun. Ken Johnston.
”The energy sector needs to be heard and council is throwing its voice behind it squarely today,” he said.
Coun. Michael Dawe agreed that expanded market access is critical.
“I’m pleased that this resolution has come forward and I give it my strong support.”
Coun. Tanya Handley also pointed out that this wasn’t council’s first show of support for the energy industry.
“It’s a continuation of our commitment to the energy sector,” she said, referring to council notes that showed council has been discussing the issue for a couple of years now.
Support for the country’s natural resources and getting product to market will help Alberta get back to being the economic engine of Canada, she said, adding that the province is already focused on an outstanding level of environmental standards.
“Our environmental standards are frankly far superior to the countries that Canada currently purchases products from, instead of transporting and developing our own resources,” she said.
“I’m very proud of the environmental record that Alberta has and the standards that we have here. I fully support this resolution. And I fully support our continued show of support for getting our natural resources to tide water and restoring Alberta back to its position of being a leader in this industry,” she said.
Coun. Vesna Higham said some have questioned why council has been silent on the issue, but the truth is councillors have not been silent.
“I think tonight will advise again once and for all council’s strong, unified support for the Trans Mountain pipeline, other pipeline construction, economic diversification, economic sustainability and access.”
She also pointed out that an ongoing lack of leadership in this area from the federal government has resulted in an, “Increased investor and industry uncertainty and an ongoing economic vulnerability that negatively impacts Albertans directly but over time also certainly impacts the national Canadian economy overall.”
Council voted unanimously to support the resolution.