Message From the President

Alberta Government Declares February 13, 2017 Oil & Gas Celebration Day

In February 2016, when we started the Oil Respect campaign, one of our goals was to have the 70th Anniversary of the oil discovery at Leduc #1 (February 13, 2017) recognized as Oil & Gas Awareness Day in Alberta.

Fast forward a year, and the provincial government has come through. Oil & Gas Celebration Day was declared at the Leduc #1 Discovery Centre on February 13, and we would like to thank the Minister of Energy, Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, and all others who helped make this happen.

Given the historical significance of Leduc #1 not just to Alberta, but all of Canada, it’s important to take one day out of 365 to recognize the hard work, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedication of oil and gas workers in Alberta and across the country. We are unapologetically proud of our industry, and we think all Canadians should be as well; we have a lot to be proud of as the world leader in responsible, ethical, safe, and environmentally conscious oil and gas development.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen celebrities and radical environmentalists attack the oil and gas industry in Canada, while completely ignoring industry laggards around the world. The truth is our oil and gas industry is a good news story easily told.

So let’s use this first Oil & Gas Celebration Day to rewrite the story. Let’s start recognizing that Canadians working in oil and gas don’t leave Canadian values at home when they get out of bed and head in to work. We can accept that there is a clear concern for our environment, and the world will always be looking for better, cleaner, and cheaper energy, but let’s also accept that there is a role for Canadian oil and gas in global markets, and it’s not to walk away or sit as a bystander watching other producing nations make up the difference our industry would have contributed.

As the world’s best, our role should be to use our expertise to offset and displace environmental laggards, and provide as much of our ethically and responsibly produced oil and gas as possible.

Why? Because unlike some of our competitors, Canada protects freedom of speech and freedom of religion. We are a country that protects minority groups and human rights. Our health and safety and labour regulations are the best in the world, used as models by many jurisdictions. The revenues from Canadian oil and gas go into government coffers for things like health care, education at home, and international aid and humanitarian efforts abroad.

The world needs more Canadian oil and gas because our products are produced using Canadian values, but we need leadership from the federal government in order to build needed pipeline infrastructure, and we need Canadians to demand that the conditions are created to put shovels in the ground. We need the Prime Minister, all of our Premiers, and all like-minded Canadians, to stand up for the Canadian oil and gas industry, and the oil workers and oil families who make it the best in the world.

In short, Canadians need a new consensus on our oil and gas sector and Oil & Gas Celebration Day is a great place to start building one.