Polls point to more Alberta oil patch pain

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Parties less favourable to Canada's oil industry make gains

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Beleaguered western Canadian oil and gas firms face reducing prospects of any relief after the upcoming federal election, to be held no later than October 21, according to the most recent opinion polls.

The pro-business Conservative Party was verging on majority territory earlier this year. But incumbent prime minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Partyblamed by many for what ails the West's oil patch, especially the lack of pipeline capacity exiting the regionare now running close to neck and neck with the Conservatives in the polls.

Another majority Liberal government is likely a stretch come October, with Trudeau's approval rating collapsing to the low thirties over the past four years. But a majority Conservative government is also unlikely, in part owing to the rising importance of environmental issues to Canadians.

The tightened margins are problematic for the Conservativesand, hence, for the hopes of western Canada's oil industry for a more sympathetic Ottawa administrationas they likely need a majority on their own account to govern, given that the minority New Democratic Party (NDP) and Green Party share outstrip the Liberals' environmental sensibilities, while the importance of climate change to the Bloc Québécois (BQ) is also rising.

The....

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