Energy minister energizes heavy oil show


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September 11, 2014 2:45 PM

Lloydminster MLA Tim McMillan, Alberta Energy Minister Diana McQueen, Lloydminster Heavy Oil Show chairperson Paul Klaassen and Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Richard Starke were given a tour of the LHOS convention floor Tuesday afternoon. The show continues today at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds. - Christopher W. Brown Photo

Alberta’s Minister of Energy, Diana McQueen, was given a tour of the Heavy Oil Capital of Canada earlier this week.

McQueen was in Lloydminster to give a speech at the Lloydminster Heavy Oil Show at the Lloyd- minster Exhibition Grounds.

She said that it speaks volumes that a large amount of companies want to come to a place like Lloydminster to show off their product.

“It really does speak volumes, not only for a place like Lloydminster, but an organization like the heavy oil show,” she said.

“It is unbelievable that there is this type of show here in Lloydminster, especially with a waiting list to get on to present at the show.”

McQueen said that when she was given a tour of the showroom floor, it showed how much advancement in the industry there has been over the past couple of years.

“I think what the show showed us is how much activity has happened here in Lloydminster and how much advancement and investment there has been here in Lloydminster and in this province,” she said.

McQueen, who not only toured the heavy oil show, but was given a tour of Lloydminster along with Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Richard Starke and Mayor Rob Saunders, said that it was great to be back in Lloydminster.

“It’s a wonderful community, and we got to see a lot of the community, from the oil and gas industry to the recreational side of Lloydminster, to the housing side of the community as well,” she said.

Starke, who was with McQueen for most of the evening, said that having her at the show was not only great, but carried on a longstanding tradition.

“It really does carry on a tradition of having energy ministers here at the heavy oil show,” he said.

“Lloydminster is really the epicentre of heavy oil activity, for not only Western Canada, but all of Canada as well.”

Starke said that when you see the amount of exhibitors at a show like this, you can tell that Lloydminster is on the map for heavy oil companies.

Saunders said that he was appreciative of the minister at the LHOS.

“It goes to show that the heavy oil region is garnering attention in the province of Alberta,” he said. “We respected her time, and joining us here
(Tuesday) in Lloydminster.”

The mayor added that it was really an opportunity for Lloydminster to show the minister of Energy what is happening in the community.

“Her background from being mayor of Drayton Valley, she understands where cities are coming from,” he said.

“But being on the ground here in Lloydminster, at the heavy oil show, she will be able to directly hear from people, delegates, and attendees of the show of what is happening in the oil industry right now.”

When asked if Starke brought any issues up to McQueen regarding the oil industry in Lloyd- minster, he replied that he spoke about the same issues that are effecting the oil industry across the province.

“Lloydminster has the same issues that are affecting communities across this province with rapid growth,” he said.

“With the minister, being from Drayton Valley, there are a lot of similar challenges with communities that are seeing rapid growth with regards to housing and expansions of services, and the pressures that it puts on infrastructures.”

Starke said that the province is addressing the issues in a forward thinking manner.

McQueen agreed with Starke in his assessment of the oil and gas industry across the province.

“We have growing communities, and great economic development in the oil and gas industry. So that is a great opportunity to have a great oil and gas industry,” she said. “Having the infrastructure problems and the labour shortages are challenges that you will see across this province when you have great growth.” She added that the province is working together with the cities across the province to address a lot of those issues.

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