I don’t pretend to understand all the dimensions, either. You have all brought up a bunch of related considerations, on many sides, worth thinking about.
Fuel supply for Alberta (and Canada as a whole) has been a growing concern as the major petrochemical players have reduced their presence (Shell), consolidated into fewer larger corporations (Husky), and in some cases abandoned Alberta or Canada entirely (Encana/Ovintiv). Many reasons for all that, and the history is just history. I’m really more concerned with “what to do about it now”.
There are a variety of mega-projects in this area being proposed or started. Apart from this example, there are also a variety of pipelines with substantial support from governments, ranging from expedited approvals to outright ownership. How these governments got to these points is also a complicated matter of history. The fact is that they’re deeply invested already.
Things like this petro-chemical industry fund promise to develop a part of the economy that (I think) we still depend upon. This is the overall prosperity argument. For as long as the local economy is defined by energy export, the industry needs to be fostered. Diversification within the petro industry has obstacles. A bit extra cash may help. I am less certain how much is enough, and whether a focus on the one past success is better than spreading the same effort to some of the runners-up, in addition to the past-successes. Wouldn’t it be a long-term gain to have various independent industries in each region?
I’m also thinking of the huge number of skilled professionals and trades that are unable to work within their field right now. We have petro engineers laying out roads, geo PhD’s doing traffic studies for Singapore over Zoom, drilling crews ploughing snow. The crappy statistics that our government collects tells us that a large percentage of the people who lost jobs over the past 4 years have found other work. Hummm… I challenge the statisticians to show that these people are doing work suitable to them, for equivalent pay, benefits, and prospects, compared to what they did before.