Canada’s July gross domestic product numbers released on Tuesday underscore a need to put the nation’s energy sector back in the national spotlight, according to Alberta’s premier.

“The situation in Alberta’s economy and our energy sector should be on the national agenda in this federal election,” Premier Jason Kenny told BNN Bloomberg in a Tuesday interview.

“The biggest creator of wealth and jobs in recent decades in Canada has been our oil and gas sector and it is hurting. It’s hurting because we haven’t got pipelines built. This underscores the urgency of getting global market access for our energy products as quickly as possible.”

Canadian GDP was flat month-over-month in July, with a decline in oil and gas extraction acting as a key contributor. A 3.5 per cent dip in mining, quarry and oil and gas extraction in the July report marked the industry’s largest monthly slide since May of 2016.

Kenney said the province can get more oil out of the province, both by rail and by pipeline, just by maximizing efficiency on both fronts.

“I see a way forward – even without the Line 3 replacement – to 300,000, give or take, barrels of egress, which means our market will be in balance and we can avoid those huge differentials,” Kenney said.

“Last month we shipped out of Alberta about 300,000 barrels per day on rail. Industry experts tell me we could go as high as 550,000. So we think once we solve the issues, we might see the way forward for an incremental 200-to-250,000 barrels per day of the egress of crude-by-rail, in addition we hope to see about another 100,000 barrels per day shipped as a result of optimization of the pipeline system.”

However, Kenney continued to stress the urgency of starting construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project, regardless of which party emerges victorious in the Oct. 21 federal election.

“Both of the major parties – the Liberals and the Conservatives – are committed to seeing [the Trans Mountain expansion] through,” Kenney said.

“Canadians and British Columbians, by a majority of two-to-one, support the construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. So, let’s get on with it.”