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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ottawa, ON – March 21, 2017

Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Grande Prairie–Mackenzie, expressed concerns about the recent announcement by international energy giant, Shell, to divest itself of a number of energy projects in Western Canada. Shell recently sold off 90% of their oil sands interests and earlier this month shelved plans for one of their Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects on British Columbia’s coast.

This news comes on the heels of recent statements by the Prime Minister that many worried would shake the confidence of the industry and cause many companies to flee Canada.

“The Prime Minister told Canadians that Alberta’s oil sands must be phased out. Now he is forcing a job killing carbon tax on Canadians from coast to coast,” Warkentin said. “What kind of hope for an economic recovery does that give families in Alberta whose jobs are tied to the energy sector?

“Prime Minister Trudeau and the policies of his Liberal government have made it increasingly unattractive for companies to invest in our natural resources,” Warkentin noted. “Instead of a climate of confidence, Trudeau’s policies have created an environment where companies in our energy sector are wary of further investment and are selling their assets in Alberta.”

Robert Skinner of the University of Calgary noted that “Current governments have been more focused on heavy-handed carbon policy to make the oil sands more acceptable to environmentalists”, and that “By exiting, international companies are showing they don’t have faith in the strategy and are not willing to pay the price. They are saying: “Let’s get out of this. It’s not worth the flak.”

Shell, which has sold its oil sands assets for $8.5 billion, has joined other international energy companies like Norway’s Statoil, France’s Total and the U.S.’s Murphy Oil Corp in divesting themselves of their oil sands interests.

“It is time that Justin Trudeau reverse his policies and start encouraging investment in our energy sector,” Warkentin said. “The hard working men and women in our energy sector deserve a government that actively works to create a climate of confidence where investors will invest to develop our abundant natural resources.”

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