Panda: Notley's attempt to win social licence for pipelines is a failure

Let’s face it, the NDP’s social licence scheme is a massive failure with far-reaching consequences for everyday Albertans.

Last year, Premier Rachel Notley made a very risky bet with Ottawa. She bet that if she imposed a massive new carbon tax on the Alberta people with no mandate to do so, she’d win so-called social licence from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government. She lost.

Nearly a year later, we’re certainly worse for wear, while jurisdictions across North America scoop up the jobs and investment we’ve lost, thanks to the NDP’s risky play.

This was a big win for Ottawa on Alberta.

Ottawa is actually collecting GST on the carbon tax we pay (Wildrose warned the NDP about this tax-on-tax last year). Every time you fill up your vehicle or heat your home, you’re sending even more money to Ottawa because the carbon tax is itself taxable.

Ottawa just solidified the tanker ban on the British Columbia coast, which could significantly harm our energy industry, beyond what it has already suffered.

Ottawa continues to collect billions more out of our province through a broken equalization and transfer system than it gives back, even though our province is down on its luck.

And now, to add insult to injury, Ottawa is pondering yanking the National Energy Board out of Calgary and moving it to Ontario, simultaneously insulting our great city, and our world-class energy regulator.

Notley bet it all and lost. She served Alberta up on a platter to Trudeau and his friends. She was badly outplayed by a slick Liberal with nice hair.

The only perceived benefit of this social licence scam has been the approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion. Notley touts this accomplishment daily, as it’s one of her sparing achievements.

But that project is now under severe doubt, thanks to the efforts of the B.C. NDP and Greens, who’ve pledged to stop it by any means possible.

Industry hopes for this pipeline are fading fast on the heels of the B.C. election. And members of Notley’s own oilsands advisory group, such as Tzeporah Berman and Karen Mahon, are fundraising and working around the clock to ensure it never gets built.

Wildrose previously warned Notley about trafficking in these risky deals to obtain essential, nation-building projects such as energy pipelines. The facts and necessity of these projects could have compelled them to creation on their own. Now these approvals are stuck in a web of bad political gamesmanship.

The people of Alberta are suffering and Notley and the NDP are still chasing social licence. They don’t understand that real families are suffering, while they chase this fool’s gold.

They laugh in the legislature when we raise concerns about the record 100,000 Albertans on employment insurance, the double-digit unemployment, the 84,000 good, full-time jobs that were lost last year, and the major, international companies that are fleeing our province.

It’s time for the government to drop this notion of social licence and get back to work on attracting investment and creating jobs through common-sense policies.

So long as we’re stuck with this premier, we need her to have our backs, and stop worrying about what her fancy environmental friends or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau think.

Let’s take care of our own families, friends and communities, before we worry about taking care of anybody else’s.