Question Period – Petrochemicals Diversification Program – April 17, 2018

Mr. Piquette: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As someone who has advocated for the petrochemicals diversification program, I’m gratified to see the uptake from industry and the projects it has incentivized. I know that Inter Pipeline has begun construction on their $3.5 billion polypropylene production unit in the Industrial Heartland. To the Minister of Energy: could she update the House on progress at Inter Pipeline and other ongoing PDP projects?

The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Energy.

Ms McCuaig-Boyd: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, we’re focused on the right priorities for Albertans such as creating good jobs in a more diversified economy. This means getting Alberta off the boom-and-bust roller coaster we’ve been on for many, many years. The Inter Pipeline project is under construction, as the member notes, and at peak will have 2,000 people working on-site. That’s not to mention all the procurement that is going on, and I can tell you that the company is making every effort to procure as much in Alberta as they can. It’s well under way, and it’s a great project for . . .

The Speaker: Thank you, hon. minister.

Mr. Piquette: Thank you, Minister.
That sounds encouraging, but what does it mean to my constituents in terms of direct jobs and other spinoffs? To the same minister: what is the total economic impact of projects announced to date, assuming all go forward?

The Speaker: The hon. minister.

Ms McCuaig-Boyd: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, in addition to creating a new value chain which we do not have in Alberta, it’s creating new markets, perhaps new manufacturing down the road. At the end of the day, when this project is built, it’s going to be $3.5 billion of private-sector investment. It will be thousands of jobs in construction, and it will employ approximately 180 full-time jobs. While it’s being built, we’re enjoying taxes in the municipality and in the government. People are working. Again, it’s a great project for Alberta, and it’s history making.

Mr. Piquette: Thank you, Minister.
Given that the Official Opposition is against these types of industrial incentive programs and given your own understanding of international competition for these types of projects, again to the Minister of Energy: would these welcome developments have happened without the assistance of the petrochemicals diversification program?

The Speaker: The hon. minister.

Ms McCuaig-Boyd: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, when we looked at all these programs, we looked at the strengths we have here in Alberta, and absolutely resources are one of them. We have a skilled workforce, creative people. I can tell you that when I was down in Houston, we did learn that it’s a competitive thing, and we need to find a way to get those investment decisions over the line. Indeed, Inter Pipeline has told me on more than one occasion that it was this very program that made the final investment decision go. We’re following the same vision Premier Lougheed had many years ago, and we’re very proud to do that, something the Conservatives . . .

The Speaker: Thank you, hon. minister. Thank you.


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