Fact checking Jason Kenney's recent claims about the oil industry - 2020-10-05
Oil, of course, is a major driver of Alberta's economy. Despite tens of thousands of layoffs in recent years, the industry remains a massive employer. Until royalties shrivelled in the wake of the latest downturn, it was a substantial source of direct revenue for the provincial treasury. Hopes of ever balancing Alberta's budget remain pinned on those royalties bouncing back, to some degree, at some point in the future.
So it's no wonder the Alberta premier makes oil such a frequent topic of conversation.
But some of Kenney's recent comments about the size, scale and state of the industry have raised eyebrows among people who closely follow these things. And comparing the premier's rhetoric to the available evidence doesn't always result in a perfect match.
Kenney has made some strong claims that, when scrutinized, appear less than accurate. When traced to their source, some of the numbers he likes to cite seem exaggerated, cherry-picked or rounded up. Others look better, however, under the light of external evidence. And much of that evidence comes from one of Kenney's frequent foils — the federal government.