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Fostering development in northern Alberta

Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism Tanya Fir has appointed five members to the Northern Alberta Development Council to promote growth in northern Alberta.

The council advances development in Alberta’s north and advises the government on economic and social development opportunities. All five appointees – including two new members and three reappointments – are longtime residents of northern Alberta, and have knowledge and expertise that will help fulfil the council’s mandate.

Minister Fir has appointed the following members to two-year terms:

  • Omer Moghrabi, new member – Mayor of Lac La Biche County. He has owned a sporting goods business since 1976 and worked in post-secondary administration for more than 30 years.
  • Loretta Lieverse, new member (effective Sept. 14) – A partner with MNP’s Assurance Services team in Grande Prairie and recipient of the 2017 CPA Alberta Early Achievement Award for exceptional service to the accounting profession and to the community as a tireless volunteer. She also serves as a board member and chair of finance with the Phillip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum.
  • Peter Cardinal, reappointment – A current board member with Community Futures Lac La Biche and AlbertaHUB, as well as a former board member of the trust fund and health board of the Metis Settlements General Council.
  • Cody Beairsto, reappointment – A partner in a family-run surveying and engineering firm founded 54 years ago in the Grande Prairie area. He previously served one year as president and four years as a member of the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce.
  • Jason Schulz, reappointment – A member of the Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation and a former member of the Wood Buffalo Real Estate and Zoning Development Appeals Board, as well as the board of directors for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, and Child and Family Services.

All five members were identified through their involvement in their northern communities.

“Our government recognizes the critical role northern Alberta plays in our economy as a hub for the oil and gas, forestry, agriculture and tourism sectors. The council has a long history of providing valuable advice on opportunities for social and economic growth and development in the region. With the appointments of these new and returning members, the council will continue to build strategic partnerships to help the region’s communities and residents realize their rich potential and strengthen their diverse economies.”

Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism

“Northern Alberta has many strengths, including its rich cultural heritage, vast geographic landscape and resilient northern residents. The NADC is pleased to continue collaborating with northern business, industry and community leaders to help find new ways to grow emerging opportunities that will help ensure a prosperous future for the north.”

Tracy Allard, MLA for Grande Prairie and chair of the Northern Alberta Development Council

Established in 1963, the council is a public agency accountable to the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism. Its mandate is to investigate, monitor, evaluate, plan and promote practical measures to foster and advance development in northern Alberta.

The council engages with northerners to explore opportunities and promote growth through the development of community-based programs and services. The council also enhances dialogue between government and northern Albertans, and provides strategic advice and recommendations to government to help plan for the future of the region.

As part of government’s response to the Fair Deal Panel’s recommendation on regional strategies for northern development, the Northern Alberta Development Council will continue to focus on the development of one or more multi-modal corridors across the north. These corridors would include broadband, utilities, roads, and rail. The council will also lead the development of a northern strategy for Alberta.

Learn more about the council and its new members.

Related information

Media inquiries

Justin Brattinga
Press Secretary, Economic Development, Trade and Tourism


Fort McKay FN: Executive Personnel Announcement

Dear Community Member,

We are so pleased to be sharing two important updates about our new administrative structure.

This update is building on the news we shared last December that our friend George Arcand would be stepping down as CEO in 2020.

We have worked together to explore different approaches to how we would staff the position of CEO through an in-depth recruitment process. We have decided that the most qualified candidate for the role is a familiar face to Fort McKay – our very own Chief Financial Officer, Chris Johnson. Chris will continue to manage his finance responsibilities while taking on the leadership of Fort McKay’s overall administration portfolio.

Our second update represents a very exciting opportunity for Fort McKay. We have decided that the timing is right for Fort McKay to explore the best approach to developing our Oilsands lease. This is going to involve a series of studies and assessments to determine how we can maximize the benefit of this lease for our community and ensure we are developing the land responsibly. We are going to follow the standards that we always expect industry to follow.

This lease is going to have a significant impact on our future prosperity and we wanted to ensure it was led by someone we trust. That is why we have asked Alvaro Pinto, Director of Sustainability to step into the role as CEO Oilsands Development and Sustainability. Alvaro will continue to lead key Sustainability files as he takes on this new responsibility.

As we welcome our new leadership team, we would also like to thank George for his years service. George, you’ve set our new team up for success and we thank you for that. We wish you the best of luck.


Chief and Council


AltaGas Ltd. Announces Monthly Dividend

CALGARY, AB, July 10, 2020  – AltaGas Ltd. (“AltaGas”) (TSX: ALA) announced today that the July dividend will be paid on August 17, 2020, to common shareholders of record on July 27, 2020. The ex-dividend date is July 24, 2020. The amount of the dividend will be $0.08 for each common share. This dividend is an eligible dividend for Canadian income tax purposes.

AltaGas is a leading North American energy infrastructure company that connects NGLs and natural gas to domestic and global markets. AltaGas creates value by growing and optimizing its energy infrastructure, including a focus on clean energy sources. For more information visit:


Expert panel formed to review affordable housing

An independent Affordable Housing Review Panel will bring a new vision for affordable housing into focus.

Seniors and Housing Minister Josephine Pon has appointed 10 experts to an independent panel, led by MLA Mickey Amery, to conduct a review that will provide recommendations to transform affordable housing. Through this review, the panel will identify ways to make the affordable housing system better serve Albertans in need as well as make more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

“Our government knows Alberta’s affordable housing system must be financially sustainable and able to address growing demand. This review is the foundational piece of our housing transformation work. I thank the panel members for agreeing to spend their valuable time and effort to make housing more affordable and accessible. Their recommendations will help inform a new vision for affordable housing in Alberta.”

Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing

“It is an honour to chair the Affordable Housing Review Panel and have the opportunity to work with this outstanding group of experts. Over the coming months, as we hear from diverse groups and dig into research, we will be challenged to think creatively about ways government can better provide housing for Albertans in need. We have much work ahead and I am eager to get started.”

Mickey Amery, chair, Affordable Housing Review Panel, and MLA for Calgary-Cross

Panel members bring a diverse range of expertise and backgrounds as housing providers, developers and civil society organizations to identify innovative solutions for Albertans in need of housing. The panel will also receive submissions on populations most in need of affordable housing.

Specifically, the panel will consider:

  • The role the Government of Alberta plays in providing affordable housing.
  • Simplifying or easing regulatory structures that create costs and red tape for housing providers.
  • Gaps in the current affordable housing system.
  • Innovative approaches that will enable government and its partners to meet increasing demand for affordable housing.

The Affordable Housing Review Panel members are:

  • Mickey Amery, chair – MLA for Calgary-Cross
  • Paul Boskovich – president, Genstar Development Company
  • Lauren Ingalls – chief administrative officer, Westwinds Communities
  • Jeffrey Johnson – consultant and former Alberta MLA and cabinet minister
  • Sam Kolias – co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer, Boardwalk REIT
  • Javaid (Jerry) Naqvi – chairman and founder, Cameron Development Corporation
  • Marcia Nelson – executive fellow, University of Calgary
  • Raymond Swonek – chief executive officer, GEF Seniors Housing
  • Dr. Sasha Tsenkova – professor, University of Calgary
  • Rachelle Venne – chief executive officer, Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women

To ensure physical distancing, members will rely on virtual technology to facilitate meetings, presentations and engagement, where possible. The panel will hear from groups that are interested in affordable housing. These groups include seniors, Indigenous Peoples, newcomers, people experiencing homelessness, and people with disabilities.

“I feel privileged to help shape the future of the province’s affordable housing system in order to sustain this critical resource. In this economic juncture, housing is more important than ever. I applaud the province for taking steps to review a program that has been evolving since 1958 to ensure it supports housing needs of vulnerable families, seniors and individuals with special needs, while supporting growing demands for innovative housing solutions.”

Lauren Ingalls, chief administrative officer, Westwinds Communities

“Affordable housing is essential for competitive and resilient communities. During the current pandemic, it shelters Albertans from economic shocks, provides a place to work, learn and recover from social stress. The ecosystem of affordable housing providers requires resources, commitment and innovative strategies to address growing housing challenges.”

Dr. Sasha Tsenkova, professor, University of Calgary

“Affordable housing is critical to building safe, inclusive Alberta communities. Housing has been documented often as a critical component to improving the lives of Indigenous women, most recently in the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. I look forward to participating in the Affordable Housing Review Panel with this view in mind.”

Rachelle Venne, chief executive officer, Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women

“On behalf of Cameron Corporation, I am proud to be selected by Minister Pon to be part of the Affordable Housing Review Panel. From our perspective as an immigrant family and an Edmonton-based developer for 40 years, we understand the need to build a community everyone can enjoy, and one in which we all feel accepted. I look forward to working hard alongside my fellow panel members and partner organizations to continue making Alberta accessible for all.”

Jerry Naqvi, chairman and founder, Cameron Development Corporation

The panel’s final report will be submitted to Minister Pon by Sept. 30.

Quick facts

  • Currently, more than 110,000 Albertans live in affordable housing.
  • Almost a half-million Albertans spend more than 30 per cent of their household income on rent, which is the standard for affordability.
  • More than 19,000 households are currently on waiting lists for affordable housing.

Related information

Media inquiries

Natalie Tomczak
Press Secretary, Seniors and Housing


AltaGas Ltd. to Issue Second Quarter 2020 Results

CALGARY, AB, July 8, 2020 – AltaGas Ltd. (“AltaGas”) (TSX:  ALA) will release its 2020 second quarter financial results on Thursday July 30, 2020 before markets open. A conference call and webcast will be held the same day to discuss the financial results and other corporate developments.


10:00 a.m. MT (12:00 p.m. ET)


1-647-427-7450 or toll free at 1-888-231-8191


Shortly after the conclusion of the second quarter call, a replay will be available commencing at 1:00 p.m. MT (3:00 p.m. ET) on July 30, 2020 by dialing 403-451-9481 or toll free 1-855-859-2056. The passcode is 1690607. The replay will expire at 11:59 p.m. MT on August 6, 2020 (01:59 a.m. ET August 7, 2020).

The webcast will be archived for one year.

AltaGas is a leading North American energy infrastructure company that connects NGLs and natural gas to domestic and global markets. AltaGas creates value by growing and optimizing its energy infrastructure, including a focus on clean energy sources. For more information visit:


Joint agreement to make continual improvements to Indigenous monitoring on the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER), Trans Mountain Corporation (TMC) and the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and Existing Pipeline (IAMC-TMX) have reached a joint agreement to make continual improvements to Indigenous monitoring.

Earlier this year, leaders from all three organizations endorsed the initiative, which is aimed at identifying opportunities to improve TMC’s and the IAMC-TMX’s respective Indigenous monitoring programs for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (Project).

“This agreement represents how we are fundamentally transforming the way the CER works to advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples,” says CER Acting-CEO Sandy Lapointe.

“Collaborating with the IAMC-TMX and Trans Mountain is helping us develop best practices in Indigenous monitoring and will inform how we approach and expand Indigenous inclusion in oversight for all future projects.”

These program discussions are even more critical in light of the COVID-19 pandemic where the CER, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Parks Canada, and IAMC-TMX are finding innovative ways to continue to provide regulatory oversight.

“In-field inspections are still being performed, and work is ongoing to ensure Indigenous monitors and federal staff can conduct inspections safely, consistent with public and occupational health requirements,” says Lapointe.

By learning more about the unique objectives and strengths of each other’s programs, the three parties found common ground and developed a shared goal: to ensure the Project is built safely, in full regulatory compliance, with Indigenous participation in oversight, and with minimal harm to the environment and Indigenous interests.

“We’re working hard to put Indigenous boots on the ground, partnering with federal regulators to protect Indigenous interests,” says IAMC-TMX Indigenous Co-Chair Councilor Michelle Wilsdon of Enoch Cree Nation. Councillor Wilsdon is also the Chair of the Indigenous Caucus, which is comprised of the Indigenous members of the IAMC-TMX.

“Through this new initiative, we are seeking to better ensure the knowledge, values, and perspectives of Indigenous communities are respected and incorporated into how the Project is built, with the overall aim of advancing Indigenous interests in the oversight of the Project”, says Councillor Wilsdon.

Indigenous interests are reflected in the oversight of the Project and are occurring in multiple ways. The IAMC-TMX Indigenous Monitoring Program supports Indigenous Monitors to participate in verifying compliance through in-field inspections with the CER, DFO and Parks Canada. In TMC’s Indigenous Monitoring Program, Indigenous Monitors work directly with the company to ensure traditional knowledge is incorporated directly and pragmatically into construction oversight practices and decision-making.

“New ways of working together can generate better outcomes for Indigenous communities and industry,” says Kimberly Lavoie, interim NRCan Member and Government Co-Chair for IAMC-TMX.

“The relationships that we’ve developed will help all parties manage issues that might arise during construction.”

The early results of this work will improve the Indigenous monitoring programs by:

Providing meaningful opportunities for Indigenous communities to participate in monitoring and mitigation oversight of the construction of the Project and the operations of the existing pipeline;
Ensuring opportunities for communities to be able to work together, should they choose, in areas of shared territory;
Increasing the transparency of construction activities and monitoring reports; and
Building the capacity of and support for Indigenous communities and monitors to effectively protect communities’ interests.

The co-development initiative between the three organizations began in September 2019, when the CER requested Trans Mountain to collaborate with the IAMC-TMX outside of the regulatory process to assess and explore improvements to Indigenous monitoring programs.

Trans Mountain’s full scale exercise in February 2020 involved company personnel, IAMC-TMX Indigenous Monitors and CER staff participating in an ice emergency response in Kamloops, B.C.. (Credit: Trans Mountain Corporation)

Since then, senior representatives of the CER, TMC, and the Indigenous Caucus, facilitated by Natural Resources Canada, have met numerous times to discuss issues related to participation and engagement, Indigenous knowledge, transparency and communication, capacity, coherence across programs, and independence.

The initiative has resulted in agreement on a framework of action, and the work to implement that framework continues. “The parties have not reached agreement on every issue, but we have made some important progress toward improving the transparency and capacity of both the IAMC-TMX’s and TMC’s monitoring programs”, says Chief Harvey McLeod, Chief of the Upper Nicola Band and an IAMC-TMX member.

Trans Mountain views the collaboration to explore Indigenous monitoring best practices as a means to work proactively with the Indigenous Caucus of the IAMC-TMX and regulators to find solutions that everyone can support.

“This collaboration allows for the best from all parties to be incorporated into shared objectives” says Ian Anderson, Trans Mountain President and CEO.

The IAMC-TMX brings together 13 Indigenous representatives and six senior federal officials to address shared interests such as Indigenous monitoring, Indigenous inclusion in emergency management, and mitigating the impacts of temporary labour camps. Indigenous members are selected on a regional basis by the 129 impacted Indigenous communities and participate “without prejudice” to their views on the project. The Committee is not a rights-holding body and is not a forum for consultation.

Next steps for the parties are to implement the short-term deliverables and explore other ways to work together to manage issues during construction. The parties are also interested in sharing best practices and lessons learned with other governments and industries that may benefit from similar approaches.


Commentary: As other leagues rethink racist team names, it’s time to rename the Edmonton Eskimos – Folio

07 July 2020

Team’s statement in support of Black Lives Matter movement rings hollow without action, argues Inuk writer and scholar.

In the space of a few hours on July 3, three North American sports teams announced they were going to reassess their racist names.

Baseball’s Cleveland Indians, the Washington Redskins of the National Football League and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League have for years resisted calls to drop their team nicknames. But recent worldwide protests about systemic racism have forced the sports franchises to address the issue once again.

As an Inuit writer, scholar and researcher, I’ve been an outspoken critic of Edmonton’s refusal to rename its CFL team. I have never sat down and figured out how many hours I’ve logged into something that appears so very simple. Changing a sports team name. Getting rid of a racist moniker. Eliminating discrimination. Tossing out the detritus of bias and bigotry that lays on the field of Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.

Read More:–as-other-leagues-rethink-racist-team-names-its-time-to-rename-the-edmonton-eskimos/

With start of surveying activities, A2A Rail achieves another development milestone

EDMONTON, AB, July 7, 2020  – The Executive Team of the Alaska – Alberta Railway Corporation (A2A Rail) has commissioned engineering firm HDR to immediately commence with detailed land surveying along the Alberta segment of the railway’s proposed route. HDR will work with respected local contractors and subcontractors, including Quantum Spatial, a geospatial analytics pioneer, and Lawson, a certified Indigenous owned and controlled surveying firm. Having secured funding for this critical pre-construction activity, A2A Rail and its technical team will now embark on a 3-month planned process of field investigation and  topographic modeling. Flight plans will be filed with NAV Canada next week, and the ground crews will commence setting targets and benchmarks for the Aerial Survey to proceed. The surveying process is part of an accelerated development effort that will allow A2A Rail to engage in early field activities (such as land clearing, fencing and access road preparation) in Alberta within the next 3 to 6 months.

For A2A Rail Founder and Chairman Sean McCoshen this is yet another important milestone in the project’s impressive progress towards the start of construction work: “A2A Rail continues to gather momentum. The start of surveying activities means that we are now officially ‘boots on the ground’ here in Alberta. Combining that with our progress on completing our feasibility study, it is safe to say that A2A Rail has advanced well beyond the early idea first investigated by the Van Horne institute, into a mature infrastructure project only months away from breaking ground.”

Once constructed, the A2A railway will be a modern, safe and efficient way to transport a wide range of bulk commodities including oil, grain and ore in addition to containerized goods. The proposed route will connect the North American railway network via Northern Alberta to the existing Alaska Railroad network and Alaska’s deep-water ports. With the start of surveying activities, A2A Rail is now also delivering tangible economic impact for the province of Alberta. Besides creating jobs for local communities, investments associated with surveying will total tens of millions of dollars over the next months. But, this barely scratches the surface of the economic stimulus A2A Rail will create, as McCoshen lays out:

“This is a world-class infrastructure project that will generate more than 18,000 jobs for Canadian workers at a time when they are most needed, provide a new, more efficient route for trans-Pacific shipping and thereby link Alberta to world markets. The new rail line will create new economic development opportunities for a wide range of businesses, communities and Indigenous communities in Canada and Alaska. We estimate that A2A Rail could unlock $60 billion CAD in additional cumulative GDP through 2040 and lift household incomes by an average of 40%.”

About A2A Rail’s development process:

Surveying work is required ahead of construction for any major infrastructure project. The associated field research and topographical modelling enable detailed engineering, permitting applications and construction planning. The start of surveying activities is a significant achievement that acts to remove uncertainty, facilitating the continued development of engineering, business partnerships, financing, Indigenous relationships and environmental approval.

A2A Rail’s stated goal is to commence field activities in Alberta within the next 3-6 months and to have the railway operational in the mid to latter part of this decade.

A2A Rail will now intensify efforts to move forward with the following groups:

  • With Indigenous communities along the rail corridor, A2A will provide significant opportunities for employment, procurement, business development and equity in the new railway. As Indigenous communities are an essential partner in making this project a success, the A2A team will build on ongoing discussions in both the U.S. and Canada.

  • With national and regional permitting agencies in the U.S. and Canada, A2A will begin environmental impact assessments necessary in both countries to determine the most sustainable way to build and operate this railroad. This decision builds upon a crucial joint-venture agreement made last summer with the Alaska Railroad (“ARRC”).

  • With future customers (e.g., importers, oil producers, agricultural traders and others), A2A can offer new, safe and efficient rail infrastructure to facilitate expanded production and more competitive transport of a variety of goods and resources. The ‘common carrier’ railway will move containerized and bulk freight through northern Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Yukon to Alaskan ports, shortening end-to-end shipping times between North America and Asia by as much as 2-4 days.

About A2A:

AlaskaAlberta Rail is a privately owned corporation. Business leader and seasoned infrastructure financier, Sean McCoshen, is the Founder and Chairman. Based in Calgary, Alberta, A2A also has offices in Vancouver, British Columbia, Washington, D.C., and Anchorage, Alaska.

For further information: Media Inquiries:


ATCO to Release Second Quarter 2020 Results on July 30, 2020

CALGARY, AB, July 6, 2020- ATCO Ltd. (TSX: ACO.X, ACO.Y)

ATCO Ltd. (ATCO) will release its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2020 on Thursday, July 30, 2020. The news release will be distributed via Cision ( and the results, including Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion & Analysis, will be posted on

With approximately 6,500 employees and assets of $22 billion, ATCO is a diversified global corporation with investments in the essential services of Structures & Logistics (workforce and residential housing, innovative modular facilities, construction, site support services, workforce lodging services, facility operations and maintenance, defense operations services, and disaster and emergency management services); Utilities (electricity and natural gas transmission and distribution); Energy Infrastructure (electricity generation, energy storage and industrial water solutions); Retail Energy (electricity and natural gas retail sales); Transportation (ports and transportation logistics); and Commercial Real Estate. More information can be found at

Investor Inquiries:

Myles Dougan
Director, Investor Relations & External Disclosure
T: 403-292-7879 C: 403-828-2908

Media Inquiries:

Kurt Kadatz
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
T: 587-228-4571


Alberta NDP, Indigenous leaders renew calls for Kenney to fire speechwriter over 2013 essay –

July 7, 2020

Members of Alberta’s official Opposition and some Indigenous leaders have renewed calls for Premier Jason Kenney to fire his speechwriter over a 2013 essay that was critical of how Indigenous issues are framed in Canada, and which argues the narrative around residential schools amounts to a “bogus genocide story.”

“Today I asked the premier to take these calls seriously and remove Paul Bunner. He ignored me,” Alberta NDP Indigenous Relations Critic Richard Feehan said at a news conference in Edmonton on Monday.

“Paul Bunner enjoys a highly-paid position of influence in our province as one of the premier’s closest collaborators,” he said. “Paul Bunner harbours a profound hatred and contempt for Indigenous people.

“Why won’t the premier confront the racism in his own office today? This is shameful. Paul Bunner must be fired immediately.”

Read More:

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