Ottawa, ON – Today, Lakeland Member of Parliament Shannon Stubbs urged the federal government to lead by example, and take concrete and decisive steps to help the people, businesses and the energy industry impacted by the wildfires in Fort McMurray and Northern Alberta.
“This is a devastating and unprecedented situation in and around Fort McMurray which has already been hit hard by the energy sector downturn. People have lost everything – their homes, their jobs and their businesses. Oil companies have shut down production and it’s uncertain when things will return to normal,” said M.P. Stubbs. “The impact is significant on the economy of Fort McMurray and therefore on both the economies of Alberta and on all of Canada.”
Alberta’s responsibly developed and world-renowned and respected energy sector creates jobs, spin-off opportunities and tax revenue for every level of government. Canada’s oil reserves are the third largest in the world, and 95% of these reserves are in Alberta. Energy development and unlocking the oil sands turned Alberta into Canada’s economic engine. In 2013, Alberta was responsible for almost all new jobs in Canada.
“Alberta’s oil sands are an important strategic resource for Canada and for North America and the global market,” said M.P. Stubbs. “Economists have predicted that the halted oil production will result in a decrease in Canada’s gross domestic product. A drop in production in the oil sands due to the fire will impact all of Canada and must be a priority for the federal government.”
Alberta has also long contributed to Canada’s prosperity through significant equalization payments. This year alone, Alberta will contribute $15 billion to benefit Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast, particularly generated by the hard-working people in the oil and gas industry, including those in and around Fort McMurray who come from all parts of Canada.
“Hard-working Albertans have always contributed to regions across our country, and now they need help more than ever before. Not only have they been hit hard by the downturn in the energy sector, they’re reeling from one of the worst disasters in our country’s history,” said M.P. Stubbs. “Without a doubt, the energy companies, workers and all the people around Fort McMurray and across Alberta have done amazing work to support each other during this devastating tragedy. They’re counting on the federal government to do the same.”