Nowhere to go

Letter to the Editor

Re: "Still solid," Letter, Sept. 7.

The Merit Contractors Association (Alberta) needs lessons in geography and reality.

Geography first. The oilsands are in Alberta - not "elsewhere." Now, the lesson in reality. These oilsands can be developed only in Alberta. You can't "go elsewhere" to get at them. Alberta's oilsands contain proven oil reserves of 171.3 billion barrels, the third largest proven crude oil reserve in the world.

Despite current fears over the economy, demand for oil will stay high. Royal Dutch Shell predicts global energy demand will triple by 2050. This means oil prices will remain at a level that encourages investment in our oilsands. Only eight per cent of the world's oil reserves are available to companies such as Exxon-Mobil, BP/Amoco, ConocoPhillips or Royal Dutch Shell without any restrictions. More than half of that eight per cent is in Alberta's oilsands.

The threat that investors will "go elsewhere" is an empty one. The labour code review that Merit seeks has nothing to do with Alberta's competitiveness. It is an attack on unions and is intended to undermine its competitors - employers who happily use unionized labour and are still able to win half the building contracts in the province. What Merit has asked for is that the Conservative government plays favourites, by tipping the scales in favour of Merit members over other employers. They are seeking a Merit Advantage, not an Alberta Advantage.

Gil McGowan, Edmonton

Calgary Herald, Mon Sept 19 2011
Edmonton Journal, Mon Sept 19 2011

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