Premier Jason Kenney is calling out recent comments made by federal politicians against the oil industry.
On Wednesday, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and Elizabeth May, Parliamentary Leader with the Green Party, stated the federal government should avoid investing into the sector once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
May went as far as to say ‘oil is dead.’
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Kenney called the comments ‘deeply regrettable.’
“Please stop kicking us while we’re down. These attacks on our natural resource industries are unwarranted, they are divisive, they are, I believe in a way, un-Canadian at a time like this.”
In the case of Blanchet, Kenney says Quebec has benefitted greatly from Canada’s oil industry.
He added much of these funds they’ve received have been able to help during the pandemic.
“Quebec receives $13 billion a year in equalization payments to pay for its healthcare right now during the pandemic. Most of that wealth comes from this province and the people who pay their federal taxes, for example in the energy industry.”
Kenney also noted these comments were somewhat hypocritical as the province has a big interest in using oil.
“They consume 60,000 barrels of oil per day and in recent years they’ve had record sales of SUV’s, heavier cars. Quebecers love taking airplanes to vacations, they enjoy the benefits living in a modern industrial economy which is predicated on access to affordable energy.”
Despite these ‘attacks,’ Kenney says they will continue to be ‘generous’ and help out during the economic uncertainty and pandemic as much as possible.