Alberta’s premier says he’s disappointed by Encana Corp.’s decision to redomicile in the United States, and that he didn’t mind seeing investors punish the company for its move.  

“We’ll let shareholders make the final decision, but I was disappointed,” Jason Kenney told BNN Bloomberg’s Greg Bonnell from Houston, Texas.  “This is a company that was built on Canadian workers, Canadian assets, Canadian leadership in the past. And the truth is they were overextended on the natural gas side of things, obviously, before prices crashed – and they’ve suffered the results of that.”

“I was not disappointed to see that Encana’s share price dropped … after they announced that they were registering in Delaware,” he added.  

Kenney’s comments come after one of Encana’s largest shareholders spoke out against the oil-and-gas company’s plan to relocate south of the border. Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc. said earlier this week the move is “highly discriminatory” against Canadian investors and that it plans to vote against the plan.  But Encana defended its decision, arguing it will give the company access to larger pools of investment.

Encana’s decision to redomicile and change its name to Ovintiv – which it announced last month – comes at a time when Canada’s energy sector is facing a myriad of challenges, like pipeline delays and concerns from business leaders about competitiveness.

Kenney, who was in Texas to meet with business leaders and investors to promote Alberta’s energy industry, touted the province’s large oil and natural gas reserves, his government’s efforts to reduce red tape, and speed up the approvals process to get more crude shipped by rail.

“There is a real path forward until we get a major coastal pipeline built, and I’m not going to be distracted by companies like Encana making that decision,” he said.