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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ottawa, ON – March 24, 2017

Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Grande Prairie–Mackenzie, raised concerns about Prime Minister Trudeau’s efforts to extinguish the energy sector. Small business owners, farmers, and rural families were already reeling from the impact of Budget 2017 when Trudeau took direct aim at the energy sector and the communities and families that depend on employment in the sector.

Budget 2017 removes incentives for smaller energy companies to engage in energy exploration in Canada making the energy sector less competitive in attracting investment and killing good-paying middle class jobs.

“Our biggest competitor, the United States, is cutting red tape and taxes,” Warkentin noted. “While they make investment more attractive, the Liberal government continues to jack up taxes making Canada a less competitive place for energy companies to invest.”

“I think we saw a rare moment of frankness from the Prime Minister earlier this year,” Warkentin said. “He said that Canada needs to phase out our energy sector. Now with this budget, he is removing incentives for small firms to invest in exploration in our region.”

Experts and industry leaders have raised the alarm about the danger of Trudeau’s new measures.

Jack Mintz of the University of Calgary said, “I think this competitiveness issue is a huge issue for Canada… The U.S. is going in a completely different direction on carbon and major U.S. tax reform. That’s in addition to the measures being taken on carbon in Alberta. You start adding it all up and it’s not a healthy climate. Businesses are taking their money elsewhere.”

Tim McMillan, president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, noted the hypocrisy in Trudeau’s actions saying, “The government is very concerned with the middle class. Our industry hires the middle class.”

“Our energy sector put roofs over heads and food on the table for families in the Peace Country,” Warkentin concluded. “With this change, it’s clear that the Liberals are increasingly out of touch with the realities that Canadians in the Peace Country face on a day to day basis.”

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