Premier Stelmach taking online questions

Albertans now have an opportunity to ask Premier Ed Stelmach questions as part of a special “year-end interview with Albertans”.

Albertans now have an opportunity to ask Premier Ed Stelmach questions as part of a special “year-end interview with Albertans”.

Premier Stelmach will take questions through his website as well as through the @premierstelmach Twitter account and YourAlberta YouTube account.

Questions can be tweeted, submitted online or posted to YouTube through December 4 and as many questions as possible will be posed to the premier. Video clips of the premier answering your questions will be posted in mid-December on the premier’s website and YouTube.

For more information on how to submit questions, please see Premier Stelmach’s website. Go to http://premier.alberta.ca.

Forum explores transforming Alberta into a financial hub

Alberta Finance and Enterprise Minister Iris Evans will be meeting with over 40 senior officials from Alberta’s financial services sector to discuss how to make the province a financial hub within Canada.

The roundtable, scheduled for November 26 in Calgary, will help industry and government align their strategies and actions to enhance the financial services sector in Alberta. Specifically, two niche areas where Alberta has an opportunity to become a global expert and leader are energy finance and risk and financial management.

The global economic downturn has proven that financial risks have become more complex and interconnected. Organizations like Macquarie Capital and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, who will be represented at the roundtable, have proven that the financial services industry can continue to succeed in Alberta in the new global economic environment.

A stronger financial services sector will help diversify the provincial economy and make Alberta more competitive in the global economy. The sector itself will grow and, because finance is an accelerator and enabler of industry, it will support other sectors in Alberta.

The financial services industry in Alberta is made up of approximately 5,100 firms, including all six major Canadian banks, one of Canada’s largest institutional investment fund managers (Alberta Investment Management Corporation), and 12 of the top 20 investment banks in the world.

The Government of Alberta has a clear plan for a strong economic recovery. The Way Forward will bring Alberta back into a surplus position in three years by trimming government spending; using cash reserves to protect key programs; continuing to invest in public infrastructure; and ensuring that our province’s industries are competitive and continue to attract investment to provide jobs and prosperity.

New pipeline will enhance carbon capture and storage

The Alberta government signed a letter of intent with Enhance Energy and North West Upgrading to construct a 240-km carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline system that will greatly increase the capacity for future carbon capture and storage projects in the province.

The pipeline will connect the industrial heartland near Fort Saskatchewan south to producing oil fields near Clive, north of Red Deer. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2011, with operation to begin in late 2012. The province will invest $495 million in the project, over 15 years. Provincial funding for this project is part of Alberta’s $2 billion commitment to carbon capture and storage.

Building critical infrastructure for future economic growth is a key element of Alberta’s plan for a strong economic recovery.

Government receives advice from Alberta water experts

Three reports with recommendations to ensure the long-term sustainability of Alberta’s water resources will provide valuable input to the Government of Alberta’s review of its water allocation management system.

An advisory group, appointed by the minister of environment, examined the effectiveness of Alberta’s allocation management system and made recommendations for improvements. The Alberta Water Council and Alberta Water Research Institute also recommended ways to better allocate water for social, environmental and economic needs. All reports recognize Alberta has a good water management foundation, but also acknowledge it is prudent to introduce enhancements now to ensure the province can weather future growth demands.

As the MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, I am always available to assist constituents. If you have any questions or concerns about opportunities to ask Premier Ed Stelmach questions, Alberta’s financial services sector, carbon capture and storage, water management or any other matter, please contact one of my constituency offices at Stettler 403-742-4284; Hanna 403-854-4333; Drumheller 403-823-8181, or in Edmonton at 780-427-5041. Also, please subscribe to my e-newsletter at http://hayden.mypcmla.ca/

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