February 09, 2023

Is “Just Transition” the National Energy Program, Part 2? For Western Canada the answer is YES.

Is “Just Transition” the National Energy Program, Part 2? For Western Canada the answer is YES.

I’ve been talking a lot lately about the Trudeau government’s “Just Transition” agenda that Trudeau plans to introduce this spring. I will continue to sound the alarm on this because of the devastating effect it will have to our country and to our economy. 

And the hurt from this rather unjust “Just Transition” will be felt even greater in Western Canada.

In case you missed it, “Just Transition” is the goal of the green lobby to “transition” our economy away from fossil fuels and shut down the oil and gas industry.  

According to a Liberal ministerial memo reported on by Blacklock’s Reporter,The transition to a low-carbon economy will have an uneven impact across sectors, occupations, and regions, and create significant labour market disruptions.”  It goes on to add “Some regions, particularly in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, where communities are more reliant on carbon intensive industries, will likely be disproportionately affected by the transition to a low carbon economy.”

How many jobs are we talking about? 

The government’s own document says, “in Alberta the oil and gas sector in particular is a large contributor to the GDP, at 27.3%, affecting about 187,000 workers in Alberta”. This is only Alberta. It is estimated that Canada’s natural gas and oil industry support almost 400,000 Canadian jobs across the country. 

The Trudeau government is committed to phasing these high-skill, high-paying jobs out of existence, and to replace them with… what? Apparently, according to the memo, “Some green jobs will not require workers with green skills to perform their jobs (i.e. janitor or driver working for a solar energy company).” 

Beyond the jobs, the economic toll that Trudeau’s Just Transition plan will have is staggering. In 2020 Canada’s natural gas and oil industry generated $105 billion to Canada’s GDP. This industry also provided $12 billion in average annual revenue to the federal government (in case Trudeau or his green cronies are reading this: this is the money that the government uses to pay for services like health care -  including the $196.1 billion over 10 years Trudeau just announced - roads, schools, and bureaucratic salaries). 

But Trudeau does not seem to be interested in budgets and numbers and facts. He is driven by his reckless green ideology that is disconnected from all of those. And it is easy to hold an ideology if the consequences have no bearing on your daily life, livelihood, or future. Trudeau has not let his commitment to a “green”, low carbon future stop his private jet trips to Tofino. Or Costa Rica. Or wherever he wishes to go. 

But I assure you, this ideological drive to shut down an industry that provides jobs to so many hard-working Canadians, and puts food on the tables of families, will be felt, especially in Alberta and Saskatchewan. And it is delusional to imagine that “green jobs” installing turbines and solar panels will replace that. 

For many Albertans who remember, this Just Transition plan holds too close a resemblance to the days of Trudeau Senior’s National Energy Program of the 1980s that had a devastating effect on the oil and gas sector. The NEP was an energy policy of Trudeau's Liberal government that tried to bring more federal control and ownership over the oil and gas sector and gain a greater share of energy revenues. The NEP drove down the price of oil and gas which resulted in thousands losing their jobs and their homes.  

It has been said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. In this case the outcome for two generations of Trudeau energy policies will be tragedy. Not only for Alberta and Western Canada, but for Canada as a whole. 

Following in his father’s footsteps, Justin Trudeau has shown his dismissive contempt for Western Canadians. He even went as far as to make an official visit to Saskatchewan and not inform the Premier Scott Moe of his trip. Beyond bad manners, this is a downright insult to the people who pay his salary and who he is purported to represent. 

It’s no wonder Trudeau and his government have no hesitation in pushing forward a policy that will have the greatest impact on Western Canada.  

And it’s no wonder Alberta’s Premier Danielle Smith will not back down in her fight against Just Transition. 

What the Trudeau government is proposing is a plan that would cost the Canadian economy billions of dollars and jeopardize the jobs of thousands of hard-working people of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador.  

Ultimately it is a plan to destroy the Canadian oil and gas sector – like his father tried to do decades ago. 

We need to stand up to this madness and say no to their “Just Transition”.