Turn West into energy superpower, Taft urgesYou can read Kevin Taft's full speech to the Rotary Club here.
Upgrade oilsands in western provinces instead of south of border, Liberal leader proposes
CALGARY - Alberta could forfeit a major economic opportunity worth billions of dollars if the province does not do whatever it can to ensure that more oilsands bitumen is processed here at home, Kevin Taft said Tuesday.
In a speech to Calgary's Downtown Rotary Club, the Alberta Liberal opposition leader proposed an inter-provincial strategy to turn Western Canada into what he called an economic "tiger" by attracting more oilsands upgraders to the region.
Though industry officials say 70 per cent of bitumen is already processed in the province, Taft said it's time for Alberta to call a summit of western governments to explore the possibilities of upgrading more bitumen in Western Canada.
Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft speaks to members of the Rotary Club during a luncheon meeting at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in downtown Calgary on Tuesday.View Larger Image View Larger Image
Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft speaks to members of the Rotary Club during a luncheon meeting at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in downtown Calgary on Tuesday.
He noted estimates project that one million barrels of unprocessed bitumen will be exported for upgrading to the U.S. every day within eight years.
"I believe we now have an opportunity -- an opportunity unlike any other in our history," Taft told his audience. "A once-in-several-lifetimes opportunity to transform ourselves forever."