OTTAWA — Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands) has named Thana Boonlert (candidate for Calgary Centre) as Energy Critic in the party’s Shadow Cabinet. The Shadow Cabinet develops official positions and policies based on input from party membership.
Mr. Boonlert ran in Calgary Centre in 2015, and sits as the Alberta Representative on the party’s Federal Council. In the past, he was also an ambassador for the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association.
“I’ve travelled all over Alberta and have seen the potential to transform this province into a green energy powerhouse,” said Mr. Boonlert. “Alberta can easily maintain its role as the energy centre of Canada but do it in a sustainable way. In addition to solar and wind, there are thousands of ‘orphan’ oil wells with the potential for geothermal energy production.”
An experienced environmental scientist and engineering consultant, Mr. Boonlert has visited numerous facilities in Alberta, such as oil sands processing plants and coal mines. He specializes in quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector.
“Thana will be a great energy critic for the party,” said Ms. May. “He has a keen understanding of the energy sector in Alberta and appreciates the concerns many fossil fuel workers and their families have about their futures. New opportunities abound in the green economy and the Green Party is committed to a just transition of workers from these sectors into new ones.”
The Green Party will invest in retraining opportunities for oilfield workers and create new industries that will employ the province’s construction and engineering talent pool. Just transition measures will include income protection, jobs guarantees, retraining and resettlement. Detailed programs will be developed in partnership with workers and their unions.
Mr. Boonlert sees a bright future for Alberta. “With Green leadership, the province will never need to worry about renewable energy hurting its economy, because it will still be Canada’s energy powerhouse.”
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