Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said significant progress was made in the areas of climate leadership and pipelines, education and training, and jobs and economic diversification, during a Dec. 14 press conference outlining the government’s 2016 accomplishments.
Notley said the “made-in-Alberta” Climate Leadership Plan was the reason the Trans-Mountain and the Enbridge Line 3 pipelines were recently approved.
“Collectively, they will create over 20,000 direct jobs,” she said. “We are very happy and proud of this progress as a government.”
Notley said her government would continue to work on behalf of Albertans to get the pipelines built, despite calls from the opposition to scrap the plan.
“To be clear, we reject opposition calls to replace our made-in-Alberta plan with one that was (not) made in Alberta,” she said.
Requests for comment made to Airdrie MLA Angela Pitt, a member of the opposition Wildrose party, were not returned by press time.
Notley said other aspects of the Climate Leadership Plan were moving ahead, including the passing of legislation “to bring into force the levy to cap oil sands omissions and to ensure that 30 per cent of Alberta’s electricity will come from renewables by 2030.”
“Certainly the cost of everything is going to increase,” he said. “Whether it’s the direct costs you pay at the pump or the indirect costs you’re going to pay in your food costs because of the increase in costs from transportation and other areas where the carbon tax will apply.”
Notley said her government was also making progress on its plan to create jobs and economic diversification. The government announced Dec. 5 significant royalty credits for two new petrochemical plants, one in Strathcona County and the other in Sturgeon County, being built at a cost of between $5.65 billion and $6.05 billion.
“(These) will result in 4,200 new jobs during construction and 1,400 direct and indirect jobs when the projects are up and running,” Notley said.
Another focus in 2016 has been education and training. According to the premier, the Future Ready program, launched in October, is having a positive impact on students and families.
“Future Ready includes initiatives you would have heard about, including our school nutrition program, our new childcare and early learning pilot program, a comprehensive update of our curriculum – including immediate measures to help our kids excel in math – a tuition freeze to keep higher education affordable for Alberta families and new support for out of work apprentices to continue their training and get back to work,” she said.
“In the upcoming year, we know we have much more to do. We’re going to continue to work on that key task of creating jobs and creating opportunities for businesses to create jobs, to diversity the economy and to grow the economy.