Albertans are a good-natured bunch.
We’re polite when given gifts, offered help.
After Calgary flooded or Fort McMurray burned, we were ever so thankful when help came from across the country.
It’s with that same sense of gratitude that we can appreciate the sentiment behind the announcement that the federal government — not currently the most well-liked group in Wild Rose Country — offered to chip in $1.6 billion to help the battered oil industry.
This is a not-inconsequential amount of money, and some action is better than none.
But, on the other hand, Albertans are a proud people.
We want to be able to run businesses, work hard, and help our families thrive. And we’d love to be left alone to do it.
Albertans don’t need government handouts, just a clear path to work toward success.
And in the case of the oilpatch, that really means a way to get access to markets.
In short, what Albertans would really want this Christmas is a sense that we’re getting somewhere on Trans Mountain, but also on the prospect of other projects.
We would like to see Bill C-69, dubbed by some as the ‘no pipeliness bill’, amended to address the concerns of industry. The tanker ban also needs to be looked at, as do changes to regulations that has helped stall other projects.
There may be good reason that no one from the Notley government was at the announcement in Edmonton by Jim Carr and Amarjeet Sohi, it is merely a federal funding announcement, but in a way, it potentially speaks volumes.
Premier Rachel Notley, to her credit, has been going to bat for Alberta industry of late, taking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sohi, the natural resources minister, to task over their handling of the pipeline file.
And in her pleas to the feds, nowhere has Notley called for the kind of spending program that was announced Tuesday.
Notley has been calling for market access, be it through pipeline or rail cars, which she asked the feds to consider helping pay for.
So yes, there will be some who are happy to see the feds kicking in money to help the industry. Lord knows it needs something.
But Tuesday’s announcement misses the mark.