I was born and raised in Alberta, and have been blessed to share in the riches provided by our province’s abundant resources.
But as with most everything, things change. Alberta isn’t the vibrant province I remember. Rather it’s struggling, fighting to return to status-quo, when there is none and never again will be. Resources are being directed to revitalize the oil and gas industry when they’d be better directed at diversifying the economy, which, had Alberta done in response to any one of the past recessions, I think we’d be in a much better place.
Before you stop reading, I’ll point out that, no, I don’t think we can reasonably plan to phase out oil in the next few years or even the next decade. But I also don’t think we can just keep going the way we’re going.
We have to evolve and we have to start NOW. The O&G companies of today need to begin on a path to becoming the energy companies of tomorrow. What better way to ensure corporate longevity and job stability than developing the innovative energy solutions the industry (and climate) needs? With all the expertise and talent Albertans have to offer, we should be leading the way.
The outlook for diversification beyond the energy sector is increasingly cloudy. Kenney government cuts to programs supporting innovation won’t do Calgary any favours – it certainly won’t encourage or attract the talent and ingenuity our province desperately needs.
Meanwhile, Albertans are, literally, paying dearly. Cost of living has increased while public programs essential to our safety and well-being – healthcare, education and law enforcement, to name a few – have experienced significant cuts. It will take years to recover, if ever there is leadership to do so.
It’s no wonder a growing number of Albertans are planning their exodus – and I’m one of them. Alberta, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.