Alberta Premier Rachel Notley had a snappy comeback for entrepreneur Kevin O'Leary after he offered to invest $1 million in Canadian oil — if she stepped down.
"The last time a group of wealthy businessmen tried to tell Alberta voters how to vote, I ended up becoming premier. So if now we’ve got a Toronto wealthy businessman who wants to tell Alberta voters how to vote, I say, bring it on," Notley said in a press conference on Tuesday.
She was referring to five Alberta corporate leaders with ties to the Progressive Conservatives who held a news conference just before May's provincial election.
The five, whom Notley nicknamed "The Monopoly Men,'' warned against voting for the Alberta NDP and complained that businesses always get the short end of the tax stick.
'She's gotta go'
O'Leary was interviewed on Toronto radio station Newstalk 1010 on Monday, where he argued that Canada's weak dollar and Alberta's oil patch woes should be blamed on Notley's government.
“I mean no disrespect when I say this but here’s my offer: I’ll invest $1 million in Canadian energy companies, if out of grace and for the absolute good of Canada, the premier of Alberta resigns,” O'Leary said.
"She's gotta go."
Drop in the bucket
According to University of Alberta business professor Andrew Leach, O'Leary "needs to start reviewing his 'knee-jerk' investment offers."
In response to the business mogul's comments, Leach posted two graphs to Twitter. The first makes the case that O'Leary's donation wouldn't have any impact on Alberta's oil expenditures — which number in the billions, not millions.
The second shows that Notley's election had no effect on the price difference between West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Western Canada Select (WCS), which are benchmark crude oil prices.
Alberta has seen over 40,000 job losses in the energy sector since oil prices began dropping in 2014.
Notley has said that her government can only do so much, and pointed out the oil crisis' impact is being felt beyond just Alberta.
With files from The Canadian Press
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