Climate Justice Edmonton responds to Jason Kenney's comments on a Green New Deal

Premier's reaction to Calgary reporter's question shows that he doesn't care about working Albertans or the future of our province

– Edmonton

Today, after Calgary reporter Tom Ross asked Jason Kenney if he had talked to any elected officials who advocate for a Green New Deal, the Premier called the idea "pie-in-the-sky."

In response, Stephen Buhler, an oil and gas worker who organizes with Climate Justice Edmonton, said:

"Frankly, it was pie-in-the-sky for the Premier to base an entire provincial budget on projections of $58 per barrel oil. The Green New Deal is a pragmatic roadmap to help us navigate the inevitable and rapidly accelerating transition away from fossil fuels. The movement demanding a Green New Deal for Alberta is growing fast and includes people from across our province. Together, we're calling for an economy that creates thousands of good low-carbon jobs, respects Indigenous rights and sovereignty, listens to science and leaves no one behind.

With oil prices cratering, the most responsible thing the Premier could do in this crisis would be to chart a new course through the interconnected crises of climate change, mass inequality and oil volatility. Instead, he is sticking to a worn out playbook that no longer has any connection to reality. By refusing to listen to the grassroots movement for a Green New Deal, Premier Kenney is revealing that he cares more about Bay Street executives and Big Oil CEOs than about workers in oil and gas, such as myself.

It was also unfortunate to hear the Premier express that it's somehow un-Albertan to ask about a plan for energy transition. As an Albertan, I am embarrassed by his response to the important question Tom Ross posed.

This pandemic has shown that we are capable of doing great things in the face of enormous challenges. Although the federal and provincial responses to COVID-19 leave much to be desired, we are seeing that government is capable of functioning in a way that directly helps working people and protects the common good. Now, more than ever, we need to prioritize the work of creating a plan to tackle the crises of climate change and mass inequality. A Green New Deal for Alberta is the compelling, realistic alternative that we need. Doubling down on a sunsetting oil and gas industry is pure pie-in-the-sky thinking."

--30--