October 21 Canada held its elections for Prime Minister. The Western provinces held out much hope in a change of guard to a Conservative government however the individual chose to represent the party, Andrew Scheer, was in question on many levels.
In the end Canada chose to re-elect the Liberal government spearheaded by Justin Trudeau. Much to the decry of the Western, the election results exposed a gapping hole in how divided Canada really is.
Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia all voted Conservative while Quebec and Ontario would ultimately be the ones to push the Liberals in to another 4 years. This should come as no surprise with those two provinces holding 80% of the entire population of the country.
Back to the election night results…
So when numbers began to roll in showing the successes of the Liberal party and likelihood of a re-election, Western provinces began to vocalize their frustrations. Why? It’s important to understand that over the past four years under the Liberals, Western provinces, particularly Alberta, have seen funding cuts and a decapitation of the energy sector by Liberal policies including the no more pipelines Bill.
Rob Evants, a oifield worker with an Edmonton Fluid Sampling and Analysis company, had this to say…
Honestly my co-workers in O&G and I are all concerned about what the future holds for us under another 4 years with Liberals at the helm. Its as though they’ve declared war on the Alberta energy sector.
And Rob isn’t alone in his thoughts. In fact there is a trending movement #wexit that proposes a referendum of Western provinces independence from Eastern Canada which is incredibly decisive. Canada is upset. That is clear.
So while Canada appears to be going through post-election hangover, the oil and gas industry of Alberta especially, are beginning to plan for the next 4 years under Trudeau.
Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta’s budget will be full of tough choices needing to be made to get Alberta’s multi-billion-dollar budget deficits back into balance in four years and prevent punishing future interest payments on the debt. Kenney’s budget for Alberta was delivered recently on October 24th and is currently being debated and analyzed for revisions before final passage.
A well-known Grande Prairie laboratory services company, Intricate, believes that optimism is the best route moving forward for Alberta.
What can we do? Let’s just see how, with a minority government, the Liberals can address the concerns many (Western) Canadians have moving forward.