Kenney fires back at May and Blanchet, calls comments about oil industry ‘un-Canadian’

A day after leaders with the federal Green Party and the Bloc Québécois suggested they believe Canada’s embattled oil industry may not bounce back, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney fired back at their comments and touted the energy sector’s contributions to Canada.

“Please stop kicking us while we’re down,” Kenney said at a news conference in Edmonton on Thursday.

Kenney’s comments came after a reporter asked him what he thought of comments made by the Green Party’s parliamentary leader Elizabeth May and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet on Wednesday.

May told reporters that she believes “oil is dead” and that her “heart bleeds for people who believe the sector is going to come back, because it’s not.”

She cited the crash in prices which has been brought on in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, actions recently taken on the commodity by Russia and Saudi Arabia and a growing demand for green technology when she offered her opinion.

Blanchet said he understood the importance of governments trying to protect jobs, but said he thinks the “tar sands won’t be back” and that any money going towards Alberta trying to stabilize its fiscal crisis should be focused on building a greener economy.

“I just think it’s deeply regrettable that we would see national political leaders piling on Albertans and energy workers at a time of great trial for us,” Kenney said Thursday. “This is the opposite of leadership.

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“The Canadian energy industry has done more than any in modern Canadian history to create jobs and prosperity, to fund social programs and government services and to unite Canadians with our equalization payments and transfers across the country, to which Alberta has contributed over $600 billion in recent decades, thanks largely to our energy resources.”

Kenney said Quebec consumes 60,000 barrels of oil per day and noted the province has seen a surge in recent years of SUVs and larger vehicles.

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