Question: Thousands of Albertans, including many within Sturgeon County, have lost their jobs and government revenue has been significantly reduced as a result of the drop in oil prices. How can Canada diversify its economy and job market to become less reliant on the oil-and-gas roller coaster?
Ernest Chauvet – Christian Heritage Party
Economic diversification, with the proper infrastructure in place, can be rooted in the existing assets of an area and include, but should not be limited to, petroleum.
We need to increase the oil refining in Canada in an environmentally conscious manner and diversify in its by-products: plastics, rubber, cosmetics, and asphalt.
Diversification requires a positive business climate and a supporting infrastructure that includes taxes, transportation, and availability of materials required. We have most of the raw materials. Taxes have to encourage investments and we have to improve, upgrade and add to our rail and means of transportation.
Pipelines, yes, but also adding another rail line to the west coast to benefit both our petroleum and our grain industries. It is time to look at a high-speed rail connecting Edmonton to Calgary and expanding Edmonton’s LRT north and west. Let’s diversify from what we have and encourage jobs in Sturgeon River-Parkland.