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Letter to the Editor: Newly-elected Calgary mayor’s comment to ‘move past’ oil and gas disappointing

Paul de Jong
Letter to the Editor: Newly-elected Calgary mayor’s comment to ‘move past’ oil and gas disappointing

 

The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) was disappointed by the new mayor of Calgary’s suggestion that it’s time to “move past” oil and gas and as such has written an open letter expressing the association’s point of view.

 

Dear Mayor Jyoti Gondek,

 

On behalf of the PCA, I’d like to congratulate you on your election win.

As you may know, PCA represents construction companies that build major infrastructure projects across Canada, including portions of the Calgary Southwest Ring Road, the Bow Tower and new Calgary Cancer Centre.

Our member companies employ thousands of skilled construction workers, many of whom make their living, and support their families right here, in a city that’s at the heart of Canada’s oil and gas industry.

Perhaps not surprisingly in an oil-rich province, our members have also played an important role in what has been described as the “modern miracle” – the development of oil and gas resources, which have made Alberta one of the most prosperous and dynamic places in the world to live.

As we followed the mayoral race we were reminded of your previous support for the oil and gas industry.

It wasn’t all that long ago, while serving as Ward 3 councillor, you affirmed “because I am a Canadian and a public servant at the City of Calgary, I support Canada’s oil and gas sector.”

That’s why we were surprised and dismayed on hearing your post-election statement that Calgary needs to “move past” oil and gas.

It’s not a position that supports the majority of Calgary businesses, or their workers, who rely upon or are connected to the oil and gas sector. Suggesting an either-or approach, rather than both, is not how Calgary’s economic future should be envisioned.

We both know that a transitioning economy and workforce takes time.

And it takes a balanced perspective and approach.

We’d like to work with you to find ways to achieve a more diversified economy, while proudly supporting the world-class energy industry that Alberta has pioneered.

We welcome an opportunity to meet with you at your earliest opportunity to discuss how we might work together to champion a Calgary that appreciates the past, celebrates the present and looks with hope and ingenuity to the future.

 

Sincerely,

Paul de Jong

President of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada

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