May 17, 2012- Debate over whether oil sands development is in the economic interest of Canada is heating up all across the nation. The Alberta Enterprise Group is attempting to gain the confidence Quebecers, who polls say are the least likely to support the increasing bitumen production in Alberta.
The group of companies from Alberta including a number of oils sands companies will meet a group of business people and political movers and shakers from Quebec. Part of the reason for the Alberta mission is to dispel the misconceptions that are strongly held by many about the largest industry in Alberta, the oil sands. In Quebec, mission representatives say, there is a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding about the development of oil sands. For example, many Quebecers are not aware that there is a carbon tax in Alberta.
The visit by the mission also comes following a week of political gamesmanship across Canada that followed the assertion by NDP chief Thomas Mulcair that the Alberta oil sands are hurting the country’s manufacturing sector. Brad Wall, the Saskatchewan Premier and Alison Redford, the Alberta Premier blasted the comments from Mulcair. Jim Flaherty, the Minister of Finance also stated that Mulcair’s logic was not correct.
Results from a recent poll showed that Quebecers hold the most negative view in the country over the Alberta oil sands. Just 37% of Quebec residents who answered the poll said they thought the development of oils sands had more positives than negatives.