LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Presenters at a business forum in the Alberta mountain resort town of Lake Louise say the province’s reputation is taking a hit due to ongoing environmental criticism, delays in building oil pipelines and a surge of separatist sentiment following the last federal election.
CEO Mary Moran of Calgary Economic Development said during a speech at the event that the rise of the western Canadian separation movement or “Wexit” cost Calgary an opportunity to become the home for a 1,000-person headquarters.
Moran says the city was high on the unnamed firm’s shortlist of potential hosts until alarms were raised over Wexit, adding the company was also unhappy about the removal of some tech-friendly tax incentives in the United Conservative government’s recent provincial budget.
She declined later to identify the Canadian digital company because it has not yet announced the community that made the winning bid to host its new headquarters.
Premier Jason Kenney, who also spoke at the event, says the only concern he’s hearing in meetings with investors in Houston and on Wall Street is about Canada’s inability to build pipelines to transport oil and gas to market.
He says his government is “doing exactly what Albertans hired us to do” by launching a “fair deal” panel to look at establishing a provincial revenue agency, withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan and replacing the RCMP with a provincial police force.
“The main concern that I hear is about the lack of pipelines and market access for our energy that is the result of the foreign-funded campaign to landlock Alberta energy,” he told reporters.
“Our single greatest strategic interest is to get pipelines built and that will not happen unless we push back.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2019.
The Canadian Press