2011 April 19 Letter to Ryan Hastman

April 19, 2011

Mr. Ryan Hastman
c/o Campaign Headquarters
5611 Gateway Blvd North
Edmonton, AB  T6H 2H3

Dear Mr. Hastman;

I read with interest local media reports of your statements on oil-sands development where you declare that only a Conservative majority can protect Alberta jobs. This is simply not true.

I note that the current Conservative platform has removed Prime Minister Harper’s 2008 promise to stop the exports of unprocessed bitumen to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards than Canada. Given this, I can only assume that your party is now in favour of exporting bitumen, and the jobs that come from upgrading it, to countries like China or India.

Also, the leader of your party recently decreed that a Conservative government will not honour the recently passed Parliamentary motion to ban oil tanker traffic in B.C.’s northern coastal waters. This only reinforces the fact that the Conservatives want to export jobs through a massive bitumen pipeline to Kitimat, B.C.

I further note that Conservative MP Christian Paradis recently travelled to the Unites States to push the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. If approved, this pipeline would exports hundreds of thousands of barrels of diluted bitumen south. Exporting that bitumen before it is upgraded – bitumen that is owned by the Alberta public – will create thousands of jobs in the U.S., but only a few here at home.

We need to ensure value-added jobs stay here, Mr. Hastman, not export them with bitumen pipelines. Yet you seem to have forgotten this during your media event yesterday.

I find it offensive that the Conservatives pretend they’re the only party with a vision on the oil sands just because they’re cozy with the owners of energy companies.

Albertans have a vision of oil-sands development done in a manner that not only protects the environment, but keeps quality, value-added jobs here. The Alberta Federation of Labour gives credit to the New Democratic Party for having policies that most closely align with Albertans’ vision of how this important resource should be developed. The NDP have these policies because they’ve actually sat down and listened to Albertans. I’d recommend you do the same.


Gil McGowan
President, Alberta Federation of Labour

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