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Chamber of Commerce sounds alarm at Canada’s growing divisions over infrastructure project failures

(Medicine Hat) February 20, 2019 – According to the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce, the very fabric of our country is being threatened by the devastating impact of low oil prices, our inability to get energy resources to global markets and the increasing tensions between Canadians who live in resource-producing regions and other parts of Canada.

The oil and gas industry has been a traditional economic driver in Medicine Hat and area with producers and service companies feeling the impact of a decline of oil prices and the cancellation of energy projects the most acutely. Some companies downsized their work force which resulted in local branches closing their doors in our region and relocating. Other companies were not able to weather the storm of low world commodity prices, a historic high price differential for Alberta resources, and lack of access to markets outside of the United States.
In addition, these economic challenges rippled through our business community affecting every sector including the housing market, home builders, construction industry, retail industry, restaurants and entertainment industries, just to name a few. This in turn put pressure on our social agencies that rallied to help and support those laid off and displaced workers and their families. It’s not an unfair comment to say that the downturn in the oil and gas industry affected everyone in our region in ways big and small.

We are joining hundreds of other chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the country today to demand immediate improvements to Canada’s broken regulatory system to ensure our energy resources get to international markets.

“Canada’s economic well-being is at risk, in addition to political and regional tensions straining the unity of our country. We need to come together as Canadians to deliver a pointed message to politicians in Ottawa and across the country: the businesses in your jurisdictions want you to act and act now,” said Sarah MacKenzie, President of the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce.

“The first priority is to fix Bill C-69. The government also needs to implement the regulatory changes promised in the Fall Economic Update and make immediate plans to get our resources to tidewater. Canadians have had enough of the talk. We want to see real, concrete actions,” further stated MacKenzie.

There is enormous demand for Canadian energy products, which are some of the cleanest and most ethically-produced in the world, to displace coal as an energy source within growing economies like China and India. Canada is squandering an opportunity to put more money in the pockets of every single Canadian and fight climate change at the same time because of the endless political bickering.
 
Please direct all media inquiries to:
Sarah MacKenzie, 2018-2019 President
Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce
(403) 527-5214 ext.221
 
The Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven, volunteer-led organization, proudly representing the interests of businesses in our region, and working diligently to stimulate a strengthened and vibrant economy through our connections, support and influence. For more than 115 years, the Chamber has stood for promoting business, monitoring government and championing managed growth in the local economy. The Chamber represents over 800 businesses in our region and is aligned with both the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC), which represents over 25,000 businesses and the Canadian Chambers of Commerce (CCC), which represents over 200,000 businesses. With the largest and most influential business organizations locally, provincially and federally, the Chamber network is the most unified, valued and influential business network in Canada and works together to shape policy and programs that will make a difference to businesses in our region.

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