Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey was joined today by Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak and the Ontario PC Caucus in calling for Ontario to take full advantage of the valuable energy resources available in Alberta’s oil sands.
Hudak made this important announcement following a tour of the oil sands in Fort McMurray, while MPP Bailey joined a meeting with the Sarnia-Lambton Industrial Alliance (SLIA) to discuss employing local people for the fabrication of energy industry components and transporting them to the west through a transportation corridor.
This important PC policy announcement would place Sarnia-Lambton, as the largest centre for oil refinement and fabrication related industry in the province, at the forefront of economic opportunity and growth.
“For two years I have been meeting with representatives at the local, provincial, and national level to promote the advantages that Sarnia-Lambton gives our province and our country in the energy sector. We have the existing capacity and the expertise to take full advantage of the oil sands production in Alberta,” said MPP Bailey.
“If we are able to upgrade more oil sands in Sarnia and at existing facilities across the country, it will create an economic advantage for not just our region, but our province.”
A report by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) found that Ontario is the biggest beneficiary of oil sands development and jobs outside Alberta.
“Ontario has many assets that will allow us to play a leading role in developing the oil sands including Ontario steel and engineering, refineries in Sarnia, technology in Waterloo, the financial services sector in Toronto and a skilled and entrepreneurial workforce,” Hudak said.
“As part of an integrated plan to restart economic growth in our province, we have an opportunity today to turn Alberta’s strategic advantage into Ontario’s and help create jobs.”
According to the Oil Sands Developers Group, the oil sands will generate one million person-years of employment for Ontario, which is enough to employ over 30,000 Ontario residents for 30 years and will contribute $102 billion to Ontario’s gross domestic product.
With this announcement the Ontario PC Party joins Alberta Premier Allison Redford, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver in calling for Ontario to join in positioning Canada as a global energy superpower. This directly contrasts with Dalton McGuinty’s and the Ontario Liberal Government’s position that has blamed Ontario’s economic woes on the “petro-dollar” and the Alberta Oil sands.
In February, Premier McGuinty and Premier Redford engaged in a bitter dispute over the economic benefit of the oil sands to Canada.