AEG calls for national debate on the economy and jobs

Internal blockades against exports have consequences for all Canadians

Edmonton: At a luncheon with Enbridge CEO Al Monaco, the Alberta Enterprise Group (AEG) called for a national discussion on the economy and jobs that would explore how decisions made today can impact livelihoods and government revenues in the future.

In light of the regulatory and political challenges facing the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline that would take Canadian energy west for export to Asia, the Keystone XL pipeline to the United States  and numerous other projects across the country facing regulatory gridlock, AEG says it’s time for Canadians to reflect on what direction they would  like Canada to take in the future.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to develop the Canadian economy,” said AEG President Tim Shipton. “Whether its pipelines, power lines, mines or hydroelectric projects; the debate focuses on why we shouldn’t build instead of why we should. Canada is paralyzed by special interests and complacency.”

“What is at stake is the balance sheet of the entire country,” added Shipton. “It’s not just about jobs and profits, but also vital government revenues needed to finance growing government pension liabilities and expanding services.  The lower price Canadian energy exporters receive is costing the Canadian and Albertan governments billions each year – paid in turn by taxpayers across Canada.”

Enbridge CEO Al Monaco outlined his view of Canada’s market access challenge at a sold out luncheon in Edmonton. Enbridge is proposing a pipeline that would carry Alberta crude to Canada’s west coast for shipment to growing Asian markets.

In attendance were several local Enbridge suppliers who employ hundreds of people across northern Alberta.

“Canada was built on taking bold risks, but we’ve lost that entrepreneurial edge,” said Shipton. “AEG believes Canadian companies like Enbridge can balance environmental and social concerns with economic success. Striking that balance is critical if we’re to maintain economic growth for future generations.”

“This virtual internal blockade is not just a problem in Canada’s board rooms – it’s a problem in our classrooms and hospitals as well.  It’s time for Canada to get moving again. Projects like Northern Gateway and others must proceed in the national interest.”

AEG is a member-based, non-profit business advocacy organization dedicated to advancing innovations that enhance the quality of life for all Canadians, promoting entrepreneurship and corporate responsibility, and defending principles of democracy and liberty. AEG members employ more than 150,000 Canadians in the energy, manufacturing, construction and retail industries and generate billions in economic activity each year.