MLA Shaye Anderson
Submitted by Leduc-Beaumont MLA Shaye Anderson
This has been an important couple of weeks for our economy and our future, and I am confident that the decisions we have made together will steer us towards a continued economic recovery.
My colleague Minister Ceci provided a fiscal update last week, and he shared that 42,000 new jobs have been created in our province compared to last year, average weekly earnings remain strong, and manufacturing sales are up 8.5 per cent. The deficit has dropped by $1.3 billion since Budget 2018, and we remain on track to balance the budget by 2023.
Our economic recovery is growing stronger, but it still remains at risk due to the price differential. This is a crisis for our province, and as a result we have taken strong action to address this situation.
On Sunday night, Premier Notley announced that the production of raw crude oil and bitumen will be reduced by 325,000 barrels per day, representing an 8.7 per cent reduction. This reduction will be implemented started Jan. 1, and will be overseen by the Alberta Energy Regulator.
Currently, Alberta is producing 190,000 raw crude oil and bitumen barrels per day more than can be shipped by pipelines, rail, or other means. We are diverting oil to storage at record highs and we are nearing our storage capacity.
The price differential for Western Canadian Select (WCS) versus West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has been around $30 to $50 U.S. recently, peaking at $52 back in October. An 8.7 per cent reduction will reduce market volatility and is estimated to narrow the differential by at least $4 per barrel, as well as add an estimated $1.1 billion of Alberta government royalties in fiscal year 2019-2020.
Although this was a tough decision, we know it was the right one. The reduction is a reflection of broad consensus in industry, as well as input gathered by our expert envoys appointed in November to work with oil companies to find solutions to the price differential.
Supporting our oil industry is important for people across Alberta, but is especially important for us here in Leduc and Beaumont, where so many residents and businesses are connected to the industry. If you have more questions about the reduction, please reach out to my office and we will be happy to discuss further details with you.
Our government has stood up for the oil industry time and again, and I am proud of the action we are taking now to support Alberta and Albertans through this difficult time.
Shaye Anderson is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Leduc-Beaumont constituency. If you have any questions or comments about this column or any other provincial government issues, please contact his constituency office at 780-929-3290 or by e-mail at email@example.com.