Not even three years ago, Jason Kenney was criticizing governments for bailing out corporations. This week, his own government did just that by bailing out the Keystone XL pipeline project. 

In a video from 2017, Kenney can be seen ridiculing government subsidies and investment in renewable energy projects. “I would get the Alberta government out of the business of business, out of the losing business of picking winners and losers,” he says.

These comments just a few years ago directly contradict his actions today.

This week, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that his government would be spending $1.5 billion to bail out the Keystone XL pipeline. That is on top of nearly $6 billion in loans being guaranteed by the Kenney government.

Put together, this $7.5 billion investment represents one of the most notable cases of what Kenney himself called “corporate welfare.” 

TC Energy Corp, the recipient of this bailout, made $4.4 billion in net income in 2019 alone. The CEO and President of the company, Russell Girling, makes $12.5 million in compensation annually. 

In the video, Kenney tells Albertans that “when politicians are risking your money instead of their own, you might as well send them to the casino.” Only time will tell whether Kenney’s $7.5 billion bet on a pipeline, at a time when Alberta oil is worth less than $5 a barrel, will pay off.  

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