EDMONTON, AB (July 25, 2012): Premier Alison Redford heads into this week’s Council of the Federation responsible for the brewing showdown over Alberta’s energy royalty revenue after failing to articulate Alberta’s interests as they relate to her National Energy Strategy, Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said today.
With Canada’s Premiers meeting in Halifax, Redford’s vague and naïve energy strategy has left Alberta vulnerable to demands of its royalty revenues and has opened up a contentious constitutional debate on provincial revenue sharing with BC Premier Christy Clark’s demands setting a dangerous precedent, Smith said. “Premier Redford imagined herself as a champion of national energy unity, showing the rest of Canada how to pull together to make us a coordinated energy superpower,” Smith said. “Instead, the reality is that she has to scramble to defend Alberta's constitutional interests, she's opened a huge can of worms about revenue sharing, she's put the Gateway pipeline in even more peril of not getting built and it's all because she floated an idea without any substance, thought or understanding of the consequences. This is just plain sloppy work from the Premier.” Smith said Redford can’t now effectively defend Alberta’s interests when she, in reality, has backed Alberta into this situation by continually refusing to define her energy strategy and planting the seeds for BC’s demands earlier this year. Her lack of clarity on her energy strategy has also allowed federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair to fill in the holes with demands for a punitive cap-and-trade system that would hurt Alberta’s economy. “The Premier herself has set the stage for this showdown, she has nobody to blame but herself,” Smith said. “If she had taken a strong and clear position from the beginning, we wouldn’t be embroiled in this political showdown with BC and potentially the rest of the country today.”