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'I disagree with him completely': Rachel Notley says of Jagmeet Singh's oilsands stance


Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley says she completely disagrees with federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s stance on oil and gas industry subsidies, because she thinks the economy driving sector needs investment to stay competitive internationally and find innovative ways to reduce emissions.

Notley told CTV’s Question Period host Vassy Kapelos, in an interview airing Sunday, she thinks the oil and gas sector needs to be “at the table” in conversations about how to reduce carbon emissions.

She added that while the oil and gas industry saw record profits last year, she still believes it needs investment, especially if Canada is going to compete with the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, which offers billions of dollars in energy incentives south of the border.

Meanwhile Singh, Notley’s federal counterpart, has long been calling on the Liberal government to “stop giving billions of dollars of public money to oil and gas companies.”

The oil and gas sector made record profits last year — reaching more than $34 billion — and Singh has said he wants to see the Liberals cancel all subsidies to the industry, including the Carbon Capture Tax Credit.

Notley, however, said she “disagree(s) with him completely on this issue.”

She said while oil and gas profits “are spectacular right now,” the sector also “suffered significant losses during (the pandemic),” and there’s a pressing need to stay competitive with the Inflation Reduction Act.

“So there are a lot of different factors that play at it,” she said. “But I do disagree with this idea that there should be no partnerships with oil and gas when we are in a position of it playing still such an important role in our economy.”

She added she disagrees with “this idea that we can just simply walk away from something that contributes such a large amount to our economy, not just in Alberta, but across Canada, on a point of principle.”

With little more than two weeks until Albertans head to the polls, both Notley and UCP Leader Danielle Smith have also pushed back against the federal government’s emissions reduction targets.

Last March, the federal government proposed targets to reduce overall emissions to 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, with the oil and gas sector having the goal of cutting emissions by 42 per cent in the next seven years.

Notley has called the targets “unrealistic.”

She said while an emissions cap is “part of the tools necessary” to achieving the goals of reducing emissions, ensuring products are sustainable, and expanding access to international markets, she doesn’t believe the federal government’s target is reasonable.

“But to do that, it has to be practical and it has to be achievable,” Notley said. “Aspirational goals can sometimes serve to be less effective than no goals, although I'm not in favor of either of those things.”

“What I want to see is practical goals, and then a very practical plan,” she also said, adding she wants to see an emissions reduction, not a production reduction.

“The emissions output must be cut, but we don't want to see actual production cuts as an effort to achieve emissions reduction,” she said. “So let's be very clear: we're not going to be endorsing production cuts. We think that we can reach emissions reductions through other means.”




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