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Editorial: Rural municipalities helping oil and gas sector

opinion editorial stock

Here is hoping that compromise can mean something good for all involved.

Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard announced a compromise which is aimed to give tax incentives to the oil and gas sector while not breaking the bank of rural municipalities.

It’s a gamble -- why provide incentive breaks to the oil and gas sector when other energy opportunities and businesses aren’t getting the same break.

The oil and gas industry has been hit with a double whammy over the past few years -- the drop in oil prices and the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world.

And there is some opinion the oil and gas sector is a sunset industry – its best days are behind them as consumers and nations look for greener sources.

However, the sun isn’t setting yet and important as it is to find other sources of energy, it’s not going to happen overnight.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, its vital to try and get the oil economy up and running. It’s an industry that has not only fuelled the Alberta economy but Canada’s as well.

Fortunately, an agreement has been made with rural municipalities to allow oil and gas companies some breaks, without slamming those respective municipal taxpayers too much.

For its part, the gas energy has to make paying municipal back taxes a priority — an option of not paying taxes isn’t available to other business.

Al Kemmere, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta, said the fact some oil and gas businesses are not paying their taxes has been a major concern over the past three years.

As well, in the future, if things change, hopefully the oil and gas industry will remember how municipalities helped them during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.