Canada’s Energy Agenda–Getting it Right in Montreal

Posted May 12th, 2015 in blog by Doug Black


I am excited to be visiting Montreal tomorrow for the next leg of my energy literacy tour with the Economic Club of Canada. Our tour, called Canada’s Energy Agenda–Getting it Right, focuses on helping Canadians understand how we can work toward ensuring market access for Canada’s energy resources. These are issues crucial to Alberta and Canada’s prosperity. Below, I talk about why we’re taking this tour, what I’ve learned, and what the next steps are.

My Interview with the Business News Network

Posted January 29th, 2015 in Interview by Doug Black

I was happy to speak with Andrew Bell yesterday about my thoughts on the steps we can take to ensure Canada’s prosperity in light of the recent drop in oil prices. We discussed how we can encourage market access while gaining meaningful involvement from the Aboriginal community and ensuring that Canada is known as a leader in environmental protection. You can watch my interview the Business News Network’s program, The Commodity, below.

Canada being left behind: My interview in the Lloydminster Source

Posted January 26th, 2015 in Interview by Doug Black

I recently spoke with Christopher Brown at The Lloydminster Source about my thoughts on market access for Canada’s energy and the dropping price of oil. Alberta and Canada are facing some big problems with the price of oil, and it is my hope that we can work together to make sure future generations can enjoy the prosperity my generation did. You can read my thoughts in the article below.

Canada being left behind: Black

Alberta senator not confident that Keystone pipeline happens under current U.S. president

By Christopher Brown

Published January 22, 2015 in Lloydminster Source

If the country doesn’t get off the dependence of the United States for oil exports, Canada could be in for troubling times, according to Alberta Senator Doug Black.

In a one-on-one interview, Black said that by being dependent on the United States for oil exportation for so long, he doesn’t see a end in site for the low oil prices that Canada is seeing right now.

“The price of oil has fallen effectively 50 per cent in six months,” said Black. “That is a big problem for Alberta, and that is a big problem for Canada.”

With the boom and bust that the oil industry sees on a regular basis, Black is encouraging the premier of Alberta (Jim Prentice) to restructure how revenue is raised in Alberta.

“We have to have an open discussion about this,” he said. “We have to have to have a really hard look at the expenses in the province as well.”

Black said that what is good for the provinces is also good for the country, so he thinks that the government will have to cut spending in the next budget expected out in the coming months.

“I think it will happen,” he said. “Canada is not as dramatically affected by the fall in oil prices.”

Black said making those cuts is one of the reasons why federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver announced last week that he would be tabling the 2015 budget in April, rather than in March when most budgets are tabled.

“We need to understand how far this stone is going to fall,” Black said about falling oil prices.

With the falling oil prices, Black is setting out on a cross-country tour meeting with economic clubs to discuss what the country could do to offset the falling prices of oil.

“It’s now a matter of national imperative,” Black said of moving forward on the three pipelines in Alberta.

Keystone XL Pipeline, which would bring crude oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast in New Orleans; Energy East, which would bring oil to the east coast of Canada; and Northern Gateway, which would send crude oil to the Pacific Ocean.

“Canada is being penalized,” according to Black. “Like I have been saying for the past year and a half, it’s the generation below mine, that I want to enjoy the prosperity that my generation enjoyed.”

Black bluntly said, “If we do not get this right it’s not going to happen.”

The current price of oil is at a level that Black thought he would never see, “I would of never thought I would of seen it.”

Black said that time for action is not on Canada’s side, “We have to got to ensure that we get ahead of aboriginal engagement, market access, and doing what is required to ensure that we are the global environmental leader.”

The senator has hopes that the country can do it, “but we have to get together as a country and do this.”

Asked directly if Canada has seen the bottom of the oil price drop, Black didn’t want to speculate, “I only know what I read, and currently Goldman- Sachs says to look for the bottom of the drop to be around $40 per barrel.”

Black said he doubts the oil prices to reach the highs of $150-160 per barrel any time soon.

“The world is awash in oil and gas, and that is the reason why Canada was having troubles with market access for oil.”

Black said that the United States have become self sufficient in oil and gas, and no longer needs to rely on Canada as a supplier for oil.

“They need our product, but they don’t need it like they have in the past,” Black said.

Asked if that means the state of the Keystone pipeline will be pushed back further, Black said he doesn’t expect it to be passed till after the 2016.

“I do not see a light at the end of tunnel when it comes to Keystone, I don’t expect to see a light until the a new president is sworn in, and I really hope I’m wrong on that.”

Black said that as Canada diddles around on the energy file, “the world is moving ahead without us.”

Black was appointed to the Senate in 2013 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He currently sits on the Senate Committee of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environment.

My 2014 year-in-review interview with Andrew Grose

Posted January 3rd, 2015 in Interview by Doug Black

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Andrew Grose of 630 CHED before the holidays about my year in the Senate. After a tough year in 2013 in the Senate, 2014 was a year to really get to work. I am proud of what we were able to accomplish, but there is still much to be done.

I spoke with Andrew about what I and my fellow Albertan Senators have been doing to progress Albertans’ interests, including our push for market access in the energy sector and for a temporary foreign worker program that works for Albertans. We discussed the high and low points in the Senate in 2014 and how my travels throughout Alberta and British Columbia have helped me to better understand what it will take for me to become a better advocate for Albertans.

You can listen to our entire interview below.

2014: A year of action in the Senate

Posted December 18th, 2014 in blog by Doug Black

As the Senate rose for the holiday break yesterday evening, I want to provide you with a brief update on what has been a year of action in the Senate.

We have accomplished much this year on behalf of Albertans and all Canadians.

In 2014, the Senate has been busy – we’ve passed over 42 pieces of legislation and our committees issued 16 studies.

Senators also work hard in 12 inter-parliamentary associations. I was honoured this year to be acclaimed to the position of Vice-Chair of the Canada-China Legislative Association. It will allow me to advance issues critical to Canada’s and Alberta’s prosperity as we build trade links with the Asia-Pacific region.

As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, I am working on a fascinating study on the impacts of digital currency and what role they might play in the Canadian economy. I also had the opportunity to ask the Governor about the impact of the falling price of oil on the Canadian dollar. You can see the statement here.

At Senate Energy committee, I have continued to advance Alberta’s energy agenda and we’ve discussed important studies in critical infrastructure and the use of renewable energy in Canada’s North.

Of course, Alberta issues are always at the top of my agenda.

I was fortunate to tour all parts of the province this summer and have ongoing meetings with municipal and provincial leaders across Alberta.

I have been forcefully advocating for solutions to the Temporary Foreign Worker program and the immigration system more broadly which works for Alberta’s labour needs. I will continue to advance these issues to ensure that Alberta businesses can meet their labour needs and support our growing economy.

Energy will be the top of my agenda for 2015. Market access, environmental performance and aboriginal engagement are key to the success of Alberta and Canada’s energy. I will continue to bring these important concerns to the forefront in the New Year.

Albertans are well served by their Senators. I want to specially recognize the efforts of Senators Scott Tannas and Betty Unger. They do great work on behalf of Albertans and deserve tremendous praise for their hard work.

It has been a wonderful year serving as your Alberta-elected Senator. I am confident in the promise of another productive year in 2015.

I wish you and your family all the best for the holidays.