Federal MPs pledge to help western oil industry

A group of three MPs, including Souris-Moose Mountain MP Dr. Robert Kitchen, dropped in to the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show on Wednesday and pledged their support in Parliament for the beleaguered oil industry.

MP Kitchen brought along MP Pierre Poilievre from the Ontario riding of Carleton, and Quebec MP Gérard Deltell from the riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent, who both spoke briefly to the audience gathered to hear Premier Scott Moe and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

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Kitchen praised the large audience of representatives and workers of the oil industry for their hard work and their innovation in technology and efficiency in the oilfields.

“I am Canadian, I am from Quebec and I am a real strong supporter of oil in Canada,” said Deltell to a strong applause.

He acknowledged there are some in his province who are not supportive, but he assured the audience the “rest of us” are supportive of the industry.

“I’m very proud to be ‘the rest of us’ here in Saskatchewan. Two out of three Quebecers prefer Canadian products. You hear that a lot of people don’t like pipelines — but there have been pipelines in Quebec since 1942, over 2,000 km of pipelines in the province of Quebec. That is a reality you don’t hear about very much,” he said.

The MP said in his view, pipelines are “the safest way and most economic way,” and he noted that 50,000 Quebecers make their living in the petroleum or related industries, with high-tech jobs, and some in plastic manufacturing plants.

Deltell said he is proud of the Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer, who is proposing to set up an energy corridor that would enable the transport of petroleum and also other forms of energy, including hydroelectricity.

“This is a win-win situation,” he said, adding, “It’s time to get back to the spirit of the pioneers,” as it was this spirit which led to the first oil well in western Canada in 1947 at Leduc, Alta.

In his comments, MP Poilievre noted the punitive nature of the carbon tax by illustrating the absurdity of a situation of a farmer in his riding, where the farmer has to pay carbon tax for the carbon dioxide in his greenhouse operation, even though the plants are actually using up the greenhouse gas.

The result of this is that the exact same kinds of tomatoes imported from Mexico are cheaper than the ones he can produce, because there is no carbon tax on the tomatoes from Mexico.

He added that Liberal policies have led to consumers paying exhorbitantly high prices for gas and other products, while oil producers continue to get bottom dollar for their product.

Poilievre also touched on the energy corridor proposal that will be part of the Conservatives platform for the fall election, as he noted this will enable the federal government to clear the way for building of pipelines in the national interest so both consumers and producers will get a better deal.