February 28, 2024

Statement on the Future of the Renewable Energy Sector in Alberta

Before Premier Smith’s job-killing moratorium, Alberta was a world leader in clean electricity. Around three-quarters of all renewable investment in Canada went to Alberta. Alberta’s success is what made Premier Smith’s job-killing actions absolutely shocking.

Today, Premier Smith’s government finally announced some details about sunsetting the job-killing moratorium. But, let’s not be fooled, the devil is in the details. Danielle Smith is continuing her ideological crusade against renewables by placing a range of overly-restrictive conditions on future renewable projects. Today, she essentially announced that, with the new 35km rule, the vast majority of Alberta is off limits for new renewables. It seems that the ‘temporary’ job killing moratorium is now becoming permanent job-killing policy, via a red-tape burial of this job-creating industry.

Renewable energy companies are simply being asked to be treated fairly. And, the partial details on new restrictions released today are not fair. They are overkill and they threaten to kill jobs. Over $270 million in tax revenue for rural municipalities from solar and wind over the coming years is in jeopardy. $33 billion in clean energy projects that were put on hold. 24,000 jobs.

Her ideological mismanagement of our electricity system is already costing Albertans. We saw during our recent cold snap how quick she was to blame and scapegoat renewable energy for the stress to the grid, when it was largely due to with two gas plants having gone down and her own government’s mismanagement. Under Jason Kenney & Danielle Smith’s watch, electricity rates have quadrupled since 2019. Smith’s unfair and ideological treatment of renewables is making things worse.

Pierre Poilievre and his Conservative Alberta caucus need to stop hiding and denounce this job-killing policy. While they claim to advocate for Canadian jobs and investment, they continue to bog down C-49, a bill that would unleash Atlantic Canada’s potential for offshore wind. They voted against our investment tax credits that will get major clean energy projects off the ground, and they vow to cancel job-creating energy projects in Alberta, financed by the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

They both need to start putting our economic wellbeing over toxic and partisan ideology. They need to get serious about building a clean and affordable energy economy for Albertans.


George Chahal, M.P.

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