Work on royalty review to begin this summer

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July 2, 2015 8:15 AM

The Alberta NDP is enlisting more financial expertise, this time from the likes of ATB Financial’s president and CEO Dave Mowat. Mowat will lead a panel review that will look at how Alberta’s energy resource royalties can best suit the public interest.

“It’s a daunting challenge, but I think it’s also a great opportunity to help people from around Alberta understand such an important issue,” said Mowat. “My commitment to everyone is to present the facts and create a discussion with all stakeholders and a discussion that builds on understanding and creating on a common ground that we all must reach to be successful.”

He says his role on the advisory panel is to act as chair and he plans to get organized over the next month and begin the review proper later in the summer. His first job will be to recruit additional panel members to help with the review, then the group’s role will be to listen to the opinions of Albertans, industry and other stakeholders.

Premier Rachel Notley says this is an important issue for the province and it’s crucial the government does it right.

“The government is asking Mr. Mowat and his panel to carefully consider the issues and to undertake a meaningful engagement with stakeholders and Albertans,” she said. Dave has assured me that the process will be transparent and engaging. This was a complicated subject and Albertans will benefit from a clear understanding of the issues.”

The government is planning on having some preliminary conclusions by the end of the year and Mowat and the panel will give insight and analysis as they look at their next steps in the process. Notley touched on former premier Peter Lougheed’s government, saying one of its proudest accomplishments was its strong approach to Alberta’s resource wells.

She says Lougheed worked to establish “beyond debate” that the province’s resources belonged to the people and insisted on wise management of those resources. In the throne speech, she says, they announced that they intend to return to those principles.

“Our government well-understands the critical importance of the energy industry and the many benefits it brings to everyone in our province. Any changes that may come from this review will only be made after thorough and thoughtful discussion with all Albertans.”

Notley also said in the weeks to come that the government will announce the rest of the members that will make up the review panel and give more details on the consultation plan.

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