Alberta RCMP to assist B.C. fire response

Alberta is responding to a request for help from British Columbia RCMP by sending Alberta officers to assist with the wildfire emergency in that province.

The 40 Alberta RCMP members are with the Special Tactical Operations unit and will be in B.C. later this week.

“We want British Columbians to know that Alberta is here to help. From sending RCMP support to firefighting crews, we are here to support our neighbours and will continue to help in any way that we can. Many provinces, including British Columbia, stepped up to help us last year as we battled the Fort McMurray wildfire and we want to return the favour.”

Rachel Notley, Premier

“Wildfires of this size require a lot of resources and can put enormous strain on emergency responders. The RCMP officers who are deploying to B.C. will provide relief and support to their colleagues. We thank all first responders for their service to protect all Canadians.”

Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

The officers are being deployed under provisions of provincial policing agreements with the RCMP that allow the commissioner of the force to temporarily withdraw officers from one province to assist with an emergency elsewhere in the country.  

“We are proud to stand beside our colleagues in British Columbia as they did in our time of need last year during the Fort McMurray wildfires. This is one of the strengths of the RCMP as the national police force – to mobilize resources where and when needed in our country.”

Marlin Degrand, Assistant Commissioner, Alberta RCMP Criminal Operations

The deployment of the RCMP members to B.C. will not affect the force’s Alberta operations.

Media inquiries

Veronica Jubinville

780-720-0305
Press Secretary, Justice and Solicitor General

Premiers Continue to Focus on Jobs and Economic Growth

Premiers continued to explore opportunities to strengthen economic growth in Canada and support good paying jobs for Canadians.

Canada – China Free Trade Agreement

Premiers noted the importance of expanding trade as a key factor in growing Canada’s economy and emphasized the need to promote Canada’s trade opportunities in growing international markets such as China.

Premiers welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to explore a potential free trade agreement with China.  Provinces and territories are working to expand trade links with China and other growing economies in Asia. Canada’s Premiers have led trade missions to China in 2008, 2011 and 2014 and will continue to work to strengthen trade and cultural ties between Canada and China.

Building on recent successful international trade negotiations, Premiers call on the Prime Minister to ensure that once negotiations commence, provinces and territories are active participants in negotiating the new trade arrangements with China.

Environmental Approvals

Premiers discussed environmental assessment, in light of recent federal Expert Panel reports.  Canada’s world-class environmental protection laws and review processes must continue to balance the need for responsible resource development and a sustainable environment. 

Premiers called on the federal government to work with provinces and territories to ensure that environmental review processes respect the principle of one-project, one-assessment, do not add unnecessary duplication or delays in the responsible development of Canada’s natural resources, continue to have access to the best available expertise, including through the National Energy Board, and that any changes respect provincial and territorial jurisdiction, and existing co-management regimes.  Changes to the federal process must ensure regulatory certainty and timely decisions while providing transparency and meaningful participation. 

Canadian Energy Strategy

Premiers discussed the ongoing implementation of the Canadian Energy Strategy (CES), released in July 2015. The CES is a flexible framework for provinces and territories to realize a common vision for Canada’s energy future. It supports sustainable energy development while also ensuring a globally competitive energy sector. At last summer’s meeting, Premiers directed Ministers to continue collaborative work across the four priority areas including energy efficiency, delivering energy to people, climate change and the transition to a lower carbon economy, and technology and innovation.

Work to date under CES includes collaboration on innovative solutions to reduce diesel use in remote communities, and joint work to support greater adoption of innovative technologies such as zero emission vehicles and renewable energy generation and storage. Through CES provinces and territories have also made significant progress in harmonization of energy efficiency standards and influencing of federal product efficiency standards and building codes. The CES has also advanced opportunities to enhance regional electricity interties and other energy transmission and transportation infrastructure.  These achievements are in addition to ongoing work regionally and within individual provinces and territories supporting the goals and vision of CES.

Adaptation

Premiers discussed the need for more coordinated planning, funding and innovation in order to adapt communities, regions, industry and governments to long term changes in weather, temperature and environmental conditions.  Premiers are encouraged by adaptation commitments made by the federal government in Budget 2017. However, given the urgency of ensuring climate change impacts are considered, particularly in infrastructure investments, they call on the federal government to clarify how this funding will directly support provincial and territorial adaptation plans and actions.

Premiers also called for improvements to Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements, including reinstatement of funding thresholds that existed before 2015, and reduced red tape to allow for faster reimbursement of upfront provincial and territorial disaster-related costs. Premiers further emphasize the need for strategic federal investment in resilient infrastructure, including support for "building back better" to mitigate future disasters. 


Northern Communities

Premiers call on the federal government to be a stronger partner in supporting pre-emptive strategic infrastructure. The federal government should accelerate previous commitments to adaptation and accommodation of northern communities that are especially vulnerable.

Canada can lead on new innovative technologies which can support adaptation measures such as reducing the reliance of northern communities on diesel.

Infrastructure

Premiers welcome the federal government’s commitment to new infrastructure funding. This funding will support Canada’s economic growth.  Premiers noted the significant level of provincial and territorial planned investment in infrastructure. Federal funding should be in addition to total PT investments in infrastructure over the lifespan of the agreements.

Based on their assessment of the results of the Phase I negotiations, Premiers emphasized that under Phase II:

  • Federal funding including through the Canadian Infrastructure Bank must allow provinces and territories to fund planned priorities and commitments;
  • Federal investments should be flexible enough to support a range of
    projects, from small to large;
  • Federal funding should not result in additional fiscal pressure on provinces and territories, and municipalities, including cost-matching;
  • Federal funding should be flexible and contribute towards advancing critical planning, environmental assessment, and design phases of infrastructure projects;
  • Funds should be flowed directly to provinces and territories, and respect their existing relationships with municipalities.
  • Agreement administration and reporting requirements should be streamlined, reasonable and appropriately resourced. Those requirements should recognize provinces and territories’ existing reporting mechanisms.
  • Agreements should be global (not project by project) and provide sufficient flexibility to re-profile funding between programs to align with investment priorities and respond to areas of greatest infrastructure need.

Jobs/Skills Training

Canada’s economic prosperity, competitive advantage and social cohesion rely on a skilled, innovative, adaptable and flexible workforce, and inclusive labour markets that maximize the participation of all Canadians.  

Premiers acknowledge the federal government’s Budget 2017 commitment to provide additional funding for labour market transfer agreements.  Premiers welcome the federal government’s commitment to a new generation of permanent, more flexible, and streamlined labour market agreements. The agreements should not adversely affect current dollar allocations to any province or territory. New allocations should be based on need. Premiers hope to quickly conclude agreements with the federal government.

In recognition of diverse labour markets and provincial and territorial responsibility for skills training and labour market programming, provinces and territories will continue to work collaboratively with the federal government to foster and grow a highly-skilled workforce, support adult and lifelong learning and identify meaningful ways to improve labour market outcomes for all Canadians, including traditionally underrepresented groups.

Cooperative Federalism

Premiers reiterated their strong desire to work collaboratively with the federal government towards shared objectives. All provinces and territories should continue to have access to federal funds even as jurisdictions work to resolve disputes that may arise from time to time. In a federation, federal, provincial and territorial governments must respect the policy choices and priorities of other governments within their respective areas of competence.

NOTE: John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia, did not attend the 2017 Summer Meeting of Canada’s Premiers.

Fire ban issued for southern Alberta

Effective noon today, a fire ban will be implemented in portions of southern Alberta. 

The fire ban will be in effect in the regions of the Forest Protection Area located south of Highway 532 along the mountains and foothills to the northern boundary of Waterton Lakes National Park.

No fires are permitted during the fire ban, including campfires in campgrounds, until further notice.

Gas or propane stoves/barbecues and portable propane fire pits are allowed during the ban.

“Continued hot and dry weather has elevated the fire hazard to extreme levels in some areas of the province, so we are taking this proactive step to help ensure the safety of Albertans and protect our forested areas.”

Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

A fire restriction is also in effect for areas of the Forest Protection Area located south of the Red Deer River to Highway 532. In this region, campfires within designated fire rings in campgrounds are still permitted.

All fire permits are suspended and no new fire permits will be issued in the fire ban and fire restriction areas. The use of fireworks and exploding targets is also prohibited.

Albertans found to be violating the fire ban or fire restriction may be issued a $287 ticket.

Other jurisdictions, including municipalities and provincial parks, may also issue fire restrictions or bans. Please check albertafirebans.ca for detailed information.

Quick facts

  • For more information on wildfires, download the Alberta Wildfire app.
  • Up-to-date information on fire restrictions and fire bans is also available by calling 1-866-FYI-FIRE (1-866-394-3473).
  • To report a wildfire in Alberta’s Forest Protection Area, call 310-FIRE (310-3473).

Related information

Media inquiries

Jim Kerr

780-420-1968
Wildfire Information Officer, Agriculture and Forestry

Premiers Collaborate to Strengthen Canada – U.S. Relations

Premiers remain focused on the benefits of trade, commerce and investment tied to Canada’s highly important relationship with the United States.

This relationship is vital to the prosperity and economic security that Canadians and Americans enjoy today. As part of their discussion, Premiers met with Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton.

Premiers have been actively engaged in discussions with U.S. decision-makers related to the importance of maintaining, and wherever possible, enhancing the free flow of trade across the Canada-U.S. border. In particular, Premiers completed a successful COF mission to Washington, D.C. in June.

Premiers committed to continued provincial and territorial engagement and advocacy efforts with U.S. national and state level decision-makers, as well as U.S. industry and business.

NAFTA

Canada and the U.S. are each other’s most important customers in trade, business and jobs. In 2016, bilateral trade in goods and services exceeded CAD $841 billion, with 400,000 people and approximately CAD $2.4 billion worth of goods and services crossing the Canada-U.S. border daily. The U.S. enjoys a goods and services trade surplus with Canada – the only surplus it has with a top five trading partner. Further, nearly nine million U.S. jobs and 1.9 million Canadian jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada. Mexico is also a valued trading partner of both Canada and the U.S., with trilateral trade reaching nearly CAD $1.45 trillion in 2016. Annually, trade with Mexico creates approximately 4.9 million jobs in the U.S. and nearly 2 million Canadians travel to Mexico for both business and pleasure.

Negotiations to modernize NAFTA will provide Canada with the opportunity to ensure the new agreement is well suited to the realities of an integrated North American market. Similar to the successful CETA negotiations with the European Union, provinces and territories will be closely involved during all stages of the negotiation, including participating actively in the development of the Canadian negotiating strategy and having access to draft text of the agreement as it is prepared.

Premiers affirmed that free and open trade under the North American Free Trade Agreement has led to significant benefits for businesses, workers and communities in Canada, Mexico and the United States. As a result, there is a need to maintain market access for goods and services so that the gains achieved by the agreement will not be undone. Premiers note this is an opportunity to modernize and improve the agreement.

Softwood Lumber

Premiers discussed the ongoing softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. and expressed significant concern with the unwarranted and unfair trade action launched by the U.S. Department of Commerce against Canadian softwood entering the U.S. Premiers unequivocally reject the U.S. Lumber Coalition’s baseless and unfounded allegations that Canadian softwood lumber exports are subsidized.

The imposition of duties hurts communities in Canada where forestry is a major economic driver and disproportionately affects small- and medium-sized lumber businesses. These preliminary duties will also hit U.S. communities and middle class families hard through increased housing prices and job losses. The U.S. National Association of Home Builders estimates over 11,300 full- time American jobs will be lost in 2017 alone.

Premiers reaffirmed their commitment to work shoulder-to-shoulder with affected Canadian communities and workers impacted by the preliminary duties. Premiers will continue working with the federal government to secure a fair, new softwood lumber agreement with the U.S. and defend Canada’s interests through litigation if necessary.

NOTE: John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia, did not attend the 2017 Summer Meeting of Canada’s Premiers.

Pricing carbon pollution in Canada: how it will work

Canadians know that polluting is not free. We see the costs of droughts, floods and extreme weather, and through the effects on our health. It is time polluters pay.

In December 2016, the Government of Canada, along with most provinces and territories agreed to the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change to meet our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target and grow the economy. Pricing carbon pollution is central to the Framework.

Putting a price on carbon pollution is the most efficient way to reduce GHG emissions. Pricing pollution will drive innovative solutions to provide low-carbon choices for consumers and businesses. British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, representing more than 80 per cent of the population, have already introduced carbon pricing systems. Most other provinces are working to do the same. The federal option will apply in provinces without a provincial carbon pollution pricing system in place in 2018. We are evaluating how best to return the revenues, for example by giving it back to individuals and businesses in the province.

Ensuring a price on pollution across the country is a matter of fairness for all Canadians. The price on pollution should apply evenly to the main sources of GHG emissions throughout Canada in order to reduce GHG emissions at the lowest cost to business and consumers, and to support innovation and clean growth.

This pan-Canadian approach to carbon pricing is a practical and cost-effective way to address climate change and will contribute to substantial emissions reductions, stimulate innovation, clean growth and jobs for the middle class. By putting a price on carbon pollution, the Government of Canada is fulfilling our commitment to address climate change in the most effective and economical way possible.

As outlined in the Pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution on October 3, 2016, to be fair and effective, carbon pricing systems in Canada need to meet the following criteria:

  1. They need to be introduced in a timely way to ensure that a carbon price applies to the main sources of GHG emissions across Canada in 2018.
  2. Carbon pricing needs to be applied to the same key sources of GHG pollution across the country, to ensure that it is effective and fair. At a minimum, carbon pricing should apply to the same sources of GHG emissions as British Columbia’s carbon tax.
  3. Provinces can choose which type of system to implement: either (i) a direct pricing system (such as a carbon tax like British Columbia’s or a carbon levy combined with a performance-based emissions system like Alberta), or (ii) a cap-and-trade system (e.g., Ontario and Quebec).
  4. The stringency of the carbon pricing system needs to increase over time and this should be based in legislation – to provide certainty to businesses and consumers and contribute to our national GHG emission reduction target.
    •  For jurisdictions implementing an explicit price-based system, the carbon price should start at a minimum of $10 per tonne in 2018, and rise by $10 per year to $50 per tonne in 2022.
    •  Provinces with a cap-and-trade system need to have (i) a 2030 emissions reduction target equal to or greater than Canada’s 30 percent reduction target; and (ii) a cap-and-trade system with declining (more stringent) emission caps (to at least 2022) that correspond, at a minimum, to the projected emissions reductions that would have resulted from applying the direct carbon price that year (e.g., the reductions that would have resulted from a $10 per tonne direct price in 2018).
  5. Jurisdictions should provide regular, transparent and verifiable reports on the outcomes and impacts of their carbon pricing policies.

In the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, territorial governments and the Government of Canada committed to work together to find solutions that address the unique circumstances of the territories.

The Framework also committed to the federal, provincial and territorial governments to complete a series of reviews by 2022 in order to provide certainty on the path forward after 2022.

Proposed federal carbon pricing option

The Government of Canada is proposing a federal carbon pricing option that will only apply in provinces that do not have a system of their own that meets the above criteria. This federal option is composed of two elements:

  • A levy on fossil fuels that will increase annually.
  • Measures to price pollution from industry. This sets limits on pollution, and will ensure that the more an industrial facility pollutes above its limit, the more it will pay. The more a facility reduces its emissions below the limit, the more it can earn by selling credits to less efficient competitors.

This system will put a price on pollution and encourage companies to innovate in order to reduce their emissions.

The cost to households and businesses will differ based on their energy sources and energy consumption.

The carbon cost will reflect the GHG emission footprint of each fuel type--for example, a $10 per tonne carbon price is approximately 2.3 cents per litre of gasoline, 2.7 cents per litre of diesel, and 1.5 cents per litre of propane.

Other federal actions to address climate change and support a clean healthy environment

Putting a price on carbon pollution is just one way the Government of Canada is addressing climate change. The Government of Canada is also investing in Canada’s communities, their transportation, wastewater and electricity systems, businesses, industries, innovators and entrepreneurs, and research and development projects. Global momentum is driving a move towards cleaner economic growth. Canadian businesses are already taking advantage of this global opportunity. The Government of Canada is making these investments, in addition to carbon pricing, to enable Canadian businesses and workers to participate in this opportunity.

Update 2: Air quality a concern due to B.C. wildfires

The Government of Alberta is cautioning people that air quality across the province could be affected by the wildfires in British Columbia this week.

Alberta Health Services has issued advisories for all zones saying that air quality is expected to vary for the coming days and, potentially, weeks.

The province is encouraging residents of, and visitors to, Alberta to be aware of air conditions and to take precautions against potential health concerns that can be associated with smoky air.

Information about the air quality in many areas of Alberta is updated hourly on the Alberta Environment Air Quality Website: airquality.alberta.ca. For hourly air-quality readings and daily forecasts, download the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) Canada app at open.alberta.ca/interact/aqhi-canada

For more information on the air-quality advisory, please visit albertahealthservices.ca/news/air.aspx

The Alberta government is also advising people to make financial donations to a recognized non-profit organization of their choice instead of providing material donations.

How Albertans can help

  • Albertans can help the people affected by the fires in B.C. with a financial donation to the British Columbia Fires Appeal.
  • The Red Cross gratefully accepts donations from generous Canadians wishing to help. People can donate to the British Columbia Fires Appeal in one of the following ways:

     o online at www.redcross.ca

     o by calling 1-800-418-1111

     o by texting FIRES or FEUX to 45678

     o by contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office

Travel information

  • At this time, all highways into B.C. from Alberta are open to travel, but this could change as the wildfire situation progresses.
  • For up-to-date travel information, please check 511 Alberta and “know before you go.”
  • Albertans planning to travel to B.C. are advised to monitor @DriveBC and @EmergencyInfoBC for up-to-date information on road closures and traffic impacts.
  • Information for travellers and tourists visiting B.C. is available at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/info-for-travelers-tourists-in-bc

Contacting family in B.C.

  • If you have been separated from your family in B.C., please contact the Red Cross at 1-800-863-6582 (select language and then option 1).

Alberta assistance

  • Agriculture and Forestry has deployed 142 firefighters and support staff, fire air tankers, two birddog planes, 3,000 lengths of hose and 100 MK III pumps with kits to B.C.
  • Alberta is responding to a request for help from British Columbia RCMP by sending 40 Alberta members from the Special Tactical Operations unit. More information: www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=48259FD713886-DFA4-7661-C7CC0C0E7DEF7DEF
  • The Alberta Emergency Management Agency has elevated the Provincial Operations Centre to Level 2 to enhance monitoring of the B.C. wildfire and, at the request of Emergency Management British Columbia, has deployed four emergency management and communications professionals to provide assistance.
  • Albertans are encouraged not to travel to B.C. on their own to provide wildfire response. All response efforts are being coordinated through Emergency Management British Columbia.

Fire restrictions in Alberta

  • After a prolonged period of hot, dry weather, a fire restriction has been put in place in the forested parts of Alberta south of Highway 532.
  • Campfires within campgrounds in designated fire rings in this area are still permitted. Gas or propane stoves/barbecues and portable propane fire pits are also allowed.
  • The best way for Albertans to find out if there is a fire ban, restriction or advisory in their area is to visit AlbertaFireBans.ca.      

​​The top 10 global oil and gas deals in Q2/2017

New analysis from Evaluate Energy shows that the second quarter saw US$27.1 billion in new upstream oil and gas M&A deals.

This represents a 60 percent drop in total upstream M&A spending from the first quarter of 2017 and a 58 percent drop compared to the fourth quarter of 2016.

The total is roughly in line with activity prior to OPEC's decision to cut oil production in November, which delivered an instant boost to oil prices, sector confidence and investment via M&A. Since then, however, global inventory levels have hardly shifted and oil prices have dropped.

The largest deal of the quarter saw EQT Corp. boost its Marcellus and Utica shale position via the US$8.2 billion acquisition of Rice Energy. Since 2016, EQT has added more than 485,000 acres to its development portfolio, achieving significant scale in the core of the Marcellus, noted CEO Steve Schlotterbeck.

With other significant U.S. deals occurring the San Juan and Piceance basins, the Permian Basin for once took somewhat of a backseat during the second quarter.

Full analysis on all of these deals is available for free download in the new Evaluate Energy report, along with details on other major transactions in Europe and around the world and insight into the fallout from the first quarter's Canadian oilsands acquisitions. 

Fire restriction for part of southern Alberta

There is a fire restriction prohibiting open fires on private land, as well as backcountry and non-designated camping sites in parts of southern Alberta, effective 4 p.m. today until further notice.

The fire restriction is in effect in the Calgary Forest Area, which extends south from the Red Deer River along the mountains and foothills to the northern boundary of Waterton Lakes National Park.

“For the past week, we’ve seen hot and dry weather across the province. These conditions have contributed to an extreme fire hazard, especially in southern Alberta, which means that it’s important we take these steps to help reduce the risk of human-caused fires.”

Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

All fire permits are suspended and no new fire permits will be issued. The use of fireworks and exploding targets is also prohibited.

Campfires within campgrounds in designated fire rings in this area are still permitted. Gas or propane stoves/barbecues and portable propane fire pits are also allowed.

If you are found to be burning during a fire restriction in Alberta, you may be subject to a $287 ticket.

Other jurisdictions, including municipalities and provincial parks, may also issue fire restrictions or bans. Please check albertafirebans.ca for detailed information.

Quick facts

  • For more information on wildfires, download the Alberta Wildfire app.
  • Up-to-date information on fire restrictions and fire bans is available by calling 1-866-FYI-FIRE (1-866-394-3473).
  • To report a wildfire in Alberta’s Forest Protection Area, call 310-FIRE (310-3473).

Related information

Media inquiries

Melinda Paplawski

780-420-1968
Wildfire Information Officer, Agriculture and Forestry

Alberta to champion U.S. trade benefits

Cameron Westhead, MLA for Banff-Cochrane, will highlight the importance of trade between Alberta and the United States at the Council of State Governments (CSG) Midwest Conference from July 6 to 12, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa.

MLA Westhead will meet with lawmakers, industry representatives, academics and other delegates from CSG Midwest jurisdictions on behalf of Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade.

More than 277,770 jobs in the CSG Midwest region rely on exporting merchandise and services to Alberta.  In Alberta, about 196,720 jobs are the result of trade with CSG Midwest states.

“It’s increasingly important to remind U.S. legislators and business leaders that fair and open trade benefits us all. The United States will always be our most important trading partner – and we want to work together to continue growing our economies and creating jobs.”

Cameron Westhead, MLA Banff-Cochrane.

CSG Midwest is a regional multilateral forum that brings together lawmakers and government leaders from the following 11 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan are affiliate members. Alberta has been an associate member since 2010.

During his mission, MLA Westhead will also tour operations at a wind turbine manufacturing facility and study the transition of other jurisdictions to a lower carbon economy.

The estimated cost for MLA Westhead’s trip, including travel, is $4,030.

Itinerary for MLA Cameron Westhead

Date

Event

July 6

  • Depart Calgary for Des Moines, Iowa

July 7-8

  • Participate in the CSG Midwest-Canada energy subcommittee meeting and energy tour
  • Attend dinner hosted by the Canadian Consulate General

July 9-12

  • Participate in the CSG Midwestern legislative conference annual meeting
  • Depart Des Moines for Calgary



Media inquiries

Jean-Marc Prevost

587-988-4119
Press Secretary, Economic Development and Trade

Indigenous communities shape climate leadership programs

New provincial programs will help Indigenous communities cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy bills and create jobs. 

There are 48 First Nations and eight Metis Settlements in Alberta. As part of the government’s Climate Leadership Plan, seven new programs are being launched to help these communities invest in local renewable projects, energy-efficiency audits and training for jobs in a low-carbon economy. 

“Indigenous communities must be full participants in the efforts to protect our air, land and water and these programs will ensure that communities have the ability to undertake measures locally to help protect the earth by reducing the impacts of a changing climate.”

Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations

"These programs leverage the carbon levy towards further emissions reductions. They also help make life better for Indigenous communities, building capacity and expertise while saving energy and money.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office

The initiatives were developed to meet the needs of Indigenous communities and to support the priorities of the Climate Leadership Plan: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs, diversifying the economy and increasing community health and well-being.

“Indigenous peoples are seeing the effects of climate change first-hand. We need to address climate change right now and Alberta is making important strides towards addressing this pressing need. These programs are an important step in ensuring Indigenous people are involved in matters, like climate change, that directly affect our lives.”

Grand Chief Rupert Meneen, Treaty 8

Panel discussions, dialogue with Indigenous leaders, workshops and feedback from two successful pilot projects helped inform the new programs.

“Respect for the land is a fundamental value instilled in the Metis people from the day we are born. Our relationship to our land is unique and deeply spiritual – one that casts us as stewards of a great blessing bestowed by the creator. Our land is the beginning of everything. It feeds us, shelters us, clothes us, and in return, we honour it, we protect it, and we endeavor to leave it better than we found it for the next generation. Given how deeply we feel our connection to our land and environment, we are very pleased to see that the Government of Alberta is taking action to tackle the serious challenges presented by climate change.”

Gerald Cunningham, president, Metis Settlements General Council

It is a priority of the province that Indigenous peoples fully participate in the Climate Leadership Plan. The government will continue to work with Indigenous communities and organizations to ensure their priorities, needs and interests are reflected as programming is developed and refined.

“We are pleased that Alberta is investing in Indigenous peoples to address climate change in our communities. The programs announced by Alberta today are one step in supporting those most impacted by climate change and setting the foundation for empowered communities leading climate-change initiatives.”

Audrey Poitras, president, Metis Nation of Alberta

“As an employer and training organization, in the solar energy industry, not only will we be able to offer training to Indigenous peoples and communities, we will be able to offer employment and those avenues needed for indigenous business development in this exciting industry.”

Randall Benson, President, Gridworks Energy Group

The programs are supported by $35 million in grant funding and fall under three categories:

Planning and capacity-building programs:

  • The Alberta Indigenous Climate Capacity Program - grants will help Indigenous communities and organizations increase climate-change awareness and understanding of climate leadership through a variety of activities, including train-the-trainer sessions and climate literacy sessions. ($2.5 million)
  • The Alberta Indigenous Climate Planning Program - grants can be used by Indigenous communities to establish an understanding of local opportunities related to energy production and conservation through the development of Community Energy Plans and Energy Opportunity Assessments. ($2.5 million)
  • The Alberta Community Energy Program - grants are available for Indigenous communities and organizations to determine how energy is being used in their buildings and to identify opportunities to save energy and energy costs through the development of comprehensive building audits. This program began as a pilot last year and is now extended. ($3 million)

Implementation and asset programs:

  • The Alberta Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program - grants are available for projects that improve energy efficiency in new or existing buildings owned by Indigenous communities or organizations. Grants may be used to cover the costs of upgraded lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning system redesign, windows, insulation and roofing. ($14 million)
  • The Alberta Indigenous Green Energy Development Program - grants are available to develop commercial-scale, renewable-energy projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and allowing communities to meet their local energy needs and sell any excess energy into Alberta’s energy grid. ($8 million)
  • The Alberta Indigenous Solar Program - grants will assist Indigenous communities to install solar photovoltaic systems on facilities owned by the community or organizations. This program began as a pilot last year is now extended. ($3 million)

Training and employment:

  • The Alberta Indigenous Green Employment Program - grants may be used by community-based training organizations for employment and training projects aimed at promoting low-carbon economy employment opportunities (such as, solar panel installer, wind turbine technician, spray foam insulator etc.) for Indigenous peoples. ($2 million)
  • Media inquiries