May 7, 2018
In a fiery speech to party members, United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney is promising an all-out attack on the “green left” and those who secretly fund and support the demonization of Alberta’s oil.
“The special interests have targeted Alberta oil and not Saudi, Venezuelan, or Russian oil because they saw us as the boy scouts, the soft target,” Kenney told about 3,000 delegates and observers in his keynote speech at the party’s founding convention Saturday night. “If I’m premier, those days are over. “We will fight back for economic survival.”
The battle, he said in a Canadian Press article, will be waged on multiple fronts.
“We will set up a fully staffed rapid response war room in government to quickly and effectively rebut every lie told by the green left about our world class energy industry,” he said. “We will pass a law banning foreign money from being spent by special interests during Alberta elections.”
Kenney told Canadian Press a UCP government would create a special legislature committee to probe the sources of foreign money funding any groups working against Alberta’s interests. He vowed to fight through the courts if necessary to get Ottawa to strip charitable status from “bogus charities” such as the David Suzuki foundation.
Suzuki has been highly critical of Alberta’s oil sands and has called for it to be shut down. Kenney also reiterated earlier comments to take actions on lenders working against Alberta’s interests, such as HSBC. HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, announced last month it would no longer finance fossil fuel ventures such as pipelines and oil sands.
“If companies like HSBC decide to boycott our oil sands, our government will boycott them,” said Kenney, adding that he will be rounding up allies.
“We will politely ask the energy industry groups to up their game in telling their story and stop playing defence,” he told Canadian Press. “We need an industry champion to follow the lead of the brave forestry company Resolute Forest Products, which is standing up to bullying by suing (environmental advocate) Greenpeace for defamation.”
Kenney said Notley’s team has misplaced its trust in Prime Minister Trudeau to see the pipeline completed, and has also failed to take the fight to Alberta’s opponents. He said, on the oil front, and in areas ranging from fiscal policy to education to a carbon tax, Notley’s NDP deserves to be voted out in the spring 2019 election.
“Our province is being damaged every day by an ideological government that takes its inspiration from the failed theories of socialism, by a resentment of success, a distrust of enterprise,” Kenney told Canadian Press. “The New Democrats are not bad people. They just have bad ideas.”