On May 24, 2015 Rachel Notley was sworn in as Alberta's 17th
Premier and introduced her cabinet. With the following 11
Ministers, Premier Notley's cabinet was one of the leanest
– and had the fewest number of incumbents - in recent
Joe Ceci - Finance/Treasury Board president
Sarah Hoffman - Health/Seniors.
Kathleen Ganley - Justice/Aboriginal Affairs
David Eggen - Education/Culture and Tourism
Margaret McCuaig-Boyd - Energy
Shannon Phillips - Environment and Parks/Status of Women
Brian Mason - Infrastructure/Transportation
Deron Bilous - Municipal Affairs, Service Alberta
Lori Sigurdson - Innovation and Advanced Education/Jobs,
Skills, Training & Labour
Rachel Notley -- International and Intergovernmental
Oneil Carlier - Agriculture/Forestry
Irfan Sabir - Human Services
Of particular interest to the oil and gas sector will be
Minister McCuaig-Boyd. The energy portfolio – one of
the Province's most important ministries - has been entrusted
to a virtual unknown in Alberta's oil patch. A
former teacher and school administrator, prior to her election Ms.
McCuaig-Boyd was education consultant and vice-president of the
Fairview Campus of Grande Prairie Regional College. She
intends to start meeting energy industry executives with a message
that "they don't have to worry."
Maybe so, but the new Energy Minister will be responsible for
the highly sensitive royalty review promised by Premier
Notley. Corporate Calgary will be very interested in getting
to know Ms. McCuaig-Boyd - and her intentions for the pace and
scope of a review which the new Premier has said will come within
her initial term of office. One of the first orders of
business on the royalties file will be to select members of the
Resource Owners Rights Commission.
Another rookie in a high profile portfolio is Environment
Minister Shannon Phillips. First-time MLA Minister Phillips was
previously a journalist, economic analysis and advisor to the
Alberta Federation of Labour on pipelines. Ms. Phillips'
portfolio will almost certainly involve putting the NDP's stamp
on Alberta's climate change policy – and fast.
The Alberta Specified Gas Emitters Regulation expires
on June 30, 2015, a deadline widely expected to be extended by the
new government. A federal-provincial meeting on emissions this
summer and international conference in Paris at the end of 2015 are
further climate change milestones. Choosing a methodology to
address carbon – models include cap and trade, a B.C.-style
carbon tax or continuation of the existing technology fund –
will be an important policy question for the Premier and her
Environment Minister. Other key aspects of the NDP's
environmental platform include phasing out coal-fired electricity
generation, strengthening environmental standards and the
development of energy efficiency programs.
Finally, Finance Minister Joe Ceci will have a critical role in
implementing the NDP government's energy policy. Minister Ceci,
a social worker and long-time Calgary city councillor is another
newcomer to provincial politics given a senior role. He will
have several immediate tasks. Not least is introducing an interim
supply budget in a June sitting of the legislature to keep the
provincial government operating before bringing in a full budget in
the fall. It is anticipated that a corporate tax rate
increase from 10% to 12% will be levied in the first year of
Premier Notley's mandate.
The swearing in of Premier Notley and her cabinet ushers in a
new era in Alberta politics. Working with different players and
navigating the shoals of emerging issues will therefore be critical
for anyone doing business in Alberta. A clear indicator of the new
government's direction will be the June 15, 2015 Throne Speech.
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP will be monitoring and reporting on
policy changes and new legislation from the Notley government as
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
In Bank of Montreal v Bumper Development Corporation Ltd, 2016 ABQB 363, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench enforced the "immediate replacement" provision in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen 2007 Operating Procedure...
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