“I’ll tell you, I’m not easy to handle when I get disappointed.”
Former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed is disappointed about a couple of things these days, and doesn’t hesitate to say so.
“I have not been happy,” he says, “with the way the governments of Alberta, at least until recently, have handled the Alberta oil sands.”
Lougheed, who was delivering a guest lecture to students at the Webber Academy in Calgary, has commented before about oil sands projects, which he suggests have been built without enough attention to the environment, and without coherent financing.
The former premier, who led Alberta from 1971 to 1984, is also unhappy with the fate of the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust. It was established by Lougheed as a fund for future generations, but provincial contributions in recent years have faded to almost nothing.
“By 1990, and after we’d paid off our debt, I was very disappointed that we didn’t rebuild the Heritage Savings Trust, and y’know what? I think the people of Alberta agree with me on that, and would have wanted to see it done.”
The AHST now stands at around $14 billion, but if there had been yearly contributions for the past two and a half decades, the account would be as much as four times that amount.