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Griffths attacks Alberta's energy sector during speech in PEI

EDMONTON, AB (November 4, 2013): While promoting his book during a private speaking engagement in Prince Edward Island, Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths launched a broadside attack on Alberta’s energy sector, saying it “sucks the life out of every other aspect of Alberta.”  

Griffiths – who is in charge of the government’s flood response and recovery efforts – made the remarks in Georgetown, PEI on Oct. 4, the same date as the government’s flood symposium in Calgary.  He prefaced his attack by saying, “everyone thinks it’s a benefit and a bonus because we have such a dominant commodity, but …” A video of the clip can be found here.  Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said it’s inexcusable for a government minister to attack Alberta’s most important industry, especially at a time when massive efforts are underway to build pipelines and get Alberta’s product to expanding markets.  “Instead of promoting the virtues of Alberta’s energy resources in eastern Canada as he should have been, Minister Griffiths used his promotional speaking engagement to trash them,” Smith said. “This is precisely the wrong message our government should be sending to eastern Canada – and indeed the entire world – when we are working so hard at expanding our markets.”  Griffiths’ oil sands attack is the just the latest in a serious of blunders and missteps. His ongoing feud with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has compromised the province’s relationship with its largest city and his ham-handed efforts on Bill 28 led to the legislation being delayed and Premier Alison Redford taking over the file.  Wildrose Energy Critic Jason Hale categorically rejected Griffiths’ assessment of the oil sands.  “Quite simply, our energy resource is what allows Albertans to have the opportunity, prosperity and quality of life that we currently enjoy,” Hale said. “Minister Griffiths’ assessment that it ‘sucks the life out of every other aspect of Alberta’ is not only dead wrong, it’s insulting to everybody who relies on our resources to make a living and provide for their families.”