Ed Stelmach's refusal to act on the key issues of exporting bitumen and slowing the pace of development in the oil sands proves Tories have no real plan for managing the engine of Alberta's economy

    If Albertans want to see what a real plan for the oil sands looks like,
    AFL invites them to attend "Black Gold, Clear Vision" forums

    EDMONTON, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Whether it's because he's been paralyzed by
fear or ideology, Premier Ed Stelmach has failed to articulate a clear vision
or strategy for managing the new engine of the Alberta economy - the oil
    But just because Stelmach and the Conservatives don't have a plan doesn't
mean that options for a workable strategy don't exist. With that in mind, the
Alberta Federation of Labour will unveil its own oil sands policy - called the
"Black Gold, Clear Vision" framework - starting tomorrow at public forums
around the province.
    "The Stelmach government's do-nothing approach to the oil sands is
failing Albertans," says AFL president Gil McGowan. "That's why we've gone to
the effort of writing our own policy framework. We want to show our political
leaders that it can be done - and that, in fact, it needs to be done."
    "We've listened to the public and borrowed ideas from people like former
Premier Peter Lougheed," adds McGowan. "This is the kind of work the
government could and should have been doing itself. Frankly, this is our
challenge to Ed Stelmach and his colleagues to get off their back-sides."

    The AFL oil sands forums will be held in the following locations:

    Region                  Time and Date                 Location
    Fort McMurray -   8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.      -  Tamarack Room, Sawridge
    Wood Buffalo      (first session),              Inn & Conference Centre,
                      Wednesday, February 27th      530 MacKenzie Boulevard,
                                                    Fort McMurray
                      9:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
                      (second session)
    West Yellowhead   7:30 p.m., Thursday,       -  Baraka Room, Holiday Inn,
                      February 28th                 393 Gregg Avenue, Hinton
    Edmonton          7:30 p.m., Friday,         -  Salon A, Crowne Plaza
                      February 29th                 Chateau Lacombe,
                                                    10111 Bellamy Hill,
    Calgary           7:30 p.m., Saturday,       -  Grand Ball Room,
                      March 1st                     Ramada Hotel Downtown,
                                                    708 - 8th Avenue SW,

    The AFL forums are open to the public, the media and candidates from all
parties. The "Black Gold, Clear Vision" framework document will be officially
released tomorrow and copies will be available at all the forums.
    "I'd love to see the Premier at one of our events," concludes McGowan.
"Then he could explain why doing nothing is the right strategy for the oil

    The Alberta Federation of Labour is an organization of 29 public and
private sector unions representing 140,000 working Albertans. The "Black Gold,
Clear Vision" forums are part of the Federation's "Show Us the Plan" election
campaign aimed at encouraging Albertans to demand more from their politicians.

For further information:

For further information: Gil McGowan, AFL President @ (780) 483-3021
(office) or (780) 218-9888 (cell)

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