At a media conference on May 12, premier designate Rachel Notley addressed a number of issues, including the planned energy royalty review and giving school boards an extra month to complete their budgets for the year.
Notley said she has has some good discussions with people in the energy sector and that she’s looking forward to working collaboratively to ensure stability and good decision-making on the review.
“As I said throughout the election, my guiding principle is the economic health of Alberta, job creation and maintenance, and as a result of that, the sustainability of industry,” Notley said.
As for timing of the royalty review, she said they’ll have to wait until the cabinet can get together so they can talk in more detail with the new energy minster. She did say, however, that it will happen this term and it will be “preceded by good, thorough discussion with all the stakeholders including industry.”
“No one will be surprised by the way it unfolds,” she added.
Regarding the extension on school boards’ budgets, Notley said she asked the outgoing government to write to boards and give them an extra month for completion; she was told the PCs will comply. According to Notley, the NDP government was elected on a commitment to fund enrolment growth and the extension will allow them to act on the matter in good time for next year.
“We had a meeting about that where we had said, ‘Jeez, we really need to give these guys a heads up really quickly.’ So in fact, it was one of those decisions that came independent of concerns that we had heard, but it made perfect sense and we knew that timing is tight and decisions have to be made for December,” Notley said.
“We understand that and that’s why we knew that they needed to be given a little bit more time in order to put together their plan.”
During the conference she also said she had a recent meeting with former premier Jim Prentice, where he offered advice and showed willingness to provide insight in the days going forward as the NDP prepare to form government.
“I’m very grateful for the co-operation that we are receiving as we prepare to assume office and today (Prentice) offered me his insight and advice, both of which were very valuable and once again I want to thank him for his service to the province and I wish him and his family the very best.”