The federal government’s recently announced fertilizer emissions reduction targets are utterly ill conceived, tone deaf and ignore the sophistication and the high standard of Canadian farming practices. It’s not surprising an outcry has been raised by Canadians everywhere. Please take a moment to read this outstanding article to gain more insight on how Ottawa came up with the 30% reduction Opinion: Axe the fertilizer ban | Financial Post
Not only will this emissions reductions target impact the livelihoods of Canadian farmers, it will also contribute to food insecurity during a time of escalating inflation and energy insecurity in the European Union
These Ottawa policies are effectively eroding our economy and standard of living and are being imposed at a time when Canada, particularly Alberta, can be a leader in addressing food insecurity issues in the global community. Alberta is poised to be that leader and we must not lose hope.
While this fight with Ottawa will continue, there are practical, pragmatic measures to be undertaken now in Alberta that will help farmers, ranchers, municipalities, and business owners that will help achieve great economic outcomes.
As Minister of Transportation, I had the honor of visiting all corners of the province to examine highway infrastructure and look for opportunities to enhance infrastructure. It became apparent that two very important agri-food and economic corridors require significant investment. I plan to accelerate these projects when elected Premier.
First, the twinning of Highway 3. Highway 3 has gained more prominence after the BC storms when it was extensively used when critical infrastructure in BC was decimated. The twinning of highway 3 has also been discussed for decades, and although the Taber to Burdett portion is ready to be constructed, it is time to twin the entire East-West length of this highway.
Opening up this critical economic and agri-food corridor is one of the best ways to help farmers get their products to market and the economic potential of the surrounding areas will be greatly enhanced.
The other project that must be undertaken immediately is an East-West connector that connects with Highway 686, to create an economic corridor between Fort McMurray and Peace River. Currently, there is no connection and having an additional East – West connection in Northern Alberta, again, will unleash economic potential and create another agri-food corridor. In addition, after the 2016 Fort McMurrary wildfires, it is clear another evacuation route is essential for the region and this East-West connection will accomplish this.
The fight with Ottawa on axing the fertilizer emissions reductions will continue and as Premier, I will fight to ensure that Alberta’s interests are loudly articulated – and will hammer home the fact that we can and will address the food insecurity issues that have arisen due to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.
But in the meantime…let’s do what we can immediately in Alberta. It’s time to be pragmatic. It’s time to be proactive. It’s time to build critical infrastructure that will help farmers, ranchers, business owners, local residents and Albertans get their goods to market and enhance the economic potential of surrounding municipalities.