4 January 2019
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, PM
House of Commons
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
Slave Lake has always been an industrious Town full of hard-working Canadians. Oil and gas, along with Forestry, remain our principal industries in this area and employ the majority of our work force. We recognize the vital role our economic sectors in this region plays in maintaining Canada’s economic strength. All Canadians benefit from the hard work the people of this region put in to keeping the economic engine of Canada running. Our industries have some of the strongest, and most respected environmental and safety records in the world.
Not only do our industry partners understand the vital resources in this region, but there is a strong desire, and importance, to manage that resource while working with our indigenous partners to protect the environment. Although this philosophy is not new to the people of the Slave Lake Region, it does seem to be lost on other Canadians.
Throughout the past few years these industries have been plagued by adversity. Canada’s oil and gas resource industry are not being respected on the world stage. Our environmental practices should be recognized as a world leader, but are hardly talked about outside of our own country. Our attention to safety in our resource industries have been common practice for years, and should be the foundation in which the rest of the world operates.
We often hear our industries being attacked by their competitors. Their achievements ignored and inaccurate information about the commitment of these industries to environment, safety, and respect of the people that live here are not spoken of.
Our domestic and international allies do not help us to correct the misinformation, and to help their own economic situation they encourage and spread the propaganda that has been so demoralizing to our people and their businesses. What’s even worse, like the good Canadians we are, we simply smile and “take it” like the overly tolerating and accepting, peace keeping nation we are.
What is even more troublesome, is much of this adversity also comes from our friends and neighbors in the Commonwealth. Fellow Canadians who spend more time listening to propaganda than searching for fact. It is during these times of adversity and division that we must look to our leaders for guidance.
I decided to become a politician in 2010. I didn’t seek the position, for fame, power or prosperity. As a business person, to be honest, it is realistically a poor economic choice. I did it though because I knew it was an opportunity to affect real change. To make a difference in a positive way and a real opportunity to leave the world a better place for my children. I was a volunteer firefighter during the devastating fire of 2011 that pummelled the Slave Lake Region. I spent thousands of hours following that natural disaster and focused on our Region’s recovery and am proud of the work we did. That being said, the toughest and most important lesson I learned throughout my time in politics was recognizing the difference between doing what is popular and what is right.
Here in the Slave Lake Region we are often busy, with work life and family life occupying the majority of our time. Residents in the area look to their elected leaders to take time out of our day to be gather all the correct information and decide based on the best interest of the people we are elected to represent.
In fairness Slave Lake council knows that it’s our job to communicate our decisions and the reasons for them. This way our residents can be informed, and understand why we made a particular decision. Most importantly we thrive to communicate our decision ensuring our residents understand why council believes it is in the best interest of the people we serve, and for future generations.
To ensure you hear from all parts of this country, I relay this fact to you, our people are hurting. The economy of Slave Lake, of Alberta, and even nationally is in jeopardy and people’s futures are on the line. Our industries are being attacked by our neighbors to the south and by our fellow Canadians in neighboring Provinces. Factually I can say the economic prosperity of this entire Country relies on the hard work of Albertans. I can add that the future of this great country rests in your governments ability to help Alberta overcome this adversity.
That adversity is connectivity. We are failing at our ability to excel in this area. We need to connect Canadians to the right information. We need to share our successes, in production, environment, consultation and safety with our consumers. We need to show the world we are leaders, and not second class. Additional we need to connect our products to other markets. We have for far too long relied too heavily on one consumer and it has come at a huge detriment to all Canadians.
We need our Country working together to accomplish realistic goals that will benefit this nation as a whole, and not protect the interests of a few.
In closing I want to say now more than ever we need a leader. We need a government that stands up and pushes back when our people and our industries are attacked. We need a government that communicates a consistent and strong message to all Canadians. We need a government that does what is right, what is needed, and what is required. We need a government that unites Canadians. We need a government that helps Canadians take pride in the products we create from coast to coast. We need a government who does what is necessary to help us get those products to markets around the world.
Lastly while I agree we don’t need a government who picks a fight, we desperately need a government that stands up for Canadians, and the natural resources that employee countless Canadians across this great land.
I fear that if this doesn’t happen soon the negative consequences will take us decades to recover from.