On September 15, 2014 the Office of the Premier sent mandate
letters to each of the Premier's new ministers. In addition to
highlighting the provincial government's general priorities,
each letter addresses specific focus points for each ministry. The
Premier has indicated in a release that the mandate letters will be
the guiding principles upon which all Albertans will judge his
government going forward.
The letter addressed to Frank Oberle, the new Minister of
Energy, includes mandates to expand Alberta's access to key
global markets for energy commodities and products and work
collaboratively with partners to develop strategies that address
issues and barriers and understand social license challenges within
key markets and jurisdictions.
Given that the Premier has also taken on the portfolios of
International and Intergovernmental Relations and Aboriginal
Relations, it is clear that expanding market access is probably the
single most important priority for the new administration.
Likewise, the letter to Kyle Fawcett, the new Minister of
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development includes:
Expand Alberta's market access to become a preferred global
supplier for natural resources and natural resource products.
Update Alberta's Climate Change Strategy in consultation
with Alberta Energy, Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environmental
Solutions and the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC)
Corporation and ensure collaboration to achieve maximum greenhouse
gas reductions and the effectiveness of policy and funding
The mandate to update Alberta's Climate Change Strategy is
particularly interesting given the government's recent
indication that it has no immediate intention to raise
Alberta's $15-per-tonne carbon levy on large emitters or adjust
its existing carbon emission targets. What the updated Climate
Change Strategy will look like, and how it will dovetail with the
priority to expand market access, are questions to which the
answers are not immediately obvious but will certainly have
far-reaching implications for the province.
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