Environmental Protection Policy Question Period: April 15, 2013

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Ms Notley: Mr. Speaker, in Washington the Premier told the story, and I quote: the truth is that Alberta is home to some of the most environmentally friendly, progressive legislation in the world. Clearly, the Premier is confused about how to use the word “truth” in a sentence. As renowned scientist David Schindler said last week: just because you shut your eyes and say the oil sands are clean four times doesn’t mean they are. So to the Premier: why don’t you understand that intentionally and knowingly making public statements that are not correct jeopardizes our industry in the long run?

Mrs. McQueen: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Premier was quite accurate in her statements. I’d like to actually mention a few statements that Dr. Schindler has made in the past as well about when we look at the work that we’re doing with regard to land-use planning, with regard to the monitoring in the oil sands, and doubling that monitoring. Dr. Schindler has actually made very positive comments about from where we were to where we moved to. The Premier was very accurate in her statements in Washington.

Ms Notley: Well, interestingly, given that Dr. Schindler said that even the village idiot couldn’t deny the significant impact the oil sands have on the environment and given Alberta’s inaction and denial on almost every facet of environmental protection means that this government has not yet risen to village idiot status, why is this minister standing by while the Premier intentionally and knowingly makes public statements . . . [interjections]

Mrs. McQueen: Mr. Speaker, let’s talk about the facts about Alberta, the first jurisdiction in North America to put a price on carbon, to have a technology fund to reduce emissions. As we grow the oils sands region to supply access to markets, worldwide markets, we continue to make sure that on integrated resource management, land-use planning, monitoring, and the climate change policy – show me anywhere else that has the kind of environmental policies that this Premier and this government have taken.

Ms Notley: Well, Mr. Speaker, given that this PC government just handed over most environmental protection in this province to the founding member of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and given that Alberta will miss its reduction targets by miles and has absolutely no plans to fix that, why won’t the minister admit that the failed PC environmental record seriously damages Alberta’s international credibility and simultaneously hurts industry and the environment?

Mrs. McQueen: Well, thank you, Mr. Speaker. You can do solid environmental policies while being efficient and effective in the regulatory process, and that is exactly what this minister is doing along with the Energy minister. As well, we’re making sure that our environmental policies are being reviewed as they pertain to climate change policy to make sure that our emissions will be reduced. That is the commitment we have made.