From Josh Andrus, Executive Director of Project Confederation
Look what we discovered about the “Just Transition”…
You might remember, not so long ago, that federal Natural Resources Minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that the federal Liberal government would soon be rolling out its plan for a “Just Transition.”
This is the “Just Transition” plan that the federal NDP insisted be included in the “confidence and supply agreement” that is currently propping up Justin Trudeau’s minority government.
Then, an internal government memo was made public, suggesting that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost in this “transition” – particularly in western Canada.
Project Confederation immediately sprung to action, investigating the proposed policies and launching a petition against the plan, which has now received more than 13,000 signatures.
As news spread, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe spoke out strongly against the plan.
But one politician was suspiciously quiet – the Alberta NDP leader, Rachel Notley.
We thought Albertans, and Canadians, deserved to know whether someone running to be Premier of Alberta supported the shutting down of Alberta and western Canada’s largest industry.
And so we pushed hard for Rachel Notley to answer the question – does she support the “Just Transition” idea?
But, as time went on, Notley’s silence became more and more deafening.
Eventually, her silence became so deafening that even some in the media began to question whether or not she truly disagreed with the plan.
Hours turned into days, and days turned into weeks – literally!
Two full weeks after Wilkinson’s announcement, Rachel Notley finally broke her silence, calling on Ottawa to “put the brakes on” the “Just Transition”.
But, “put the brakes on” sounded a lot more like “wait until after the Alberta election” than “ditch it entirely” to us.
So we decided to do some more digging.
Well, after some excellent work by our research team, we think we now know why it took so long for Rachel Notley to oppose the “Just Transition.”
It turns out that, rather than just being some federal NDP idea that she’s now distanced her provincial party from, the “Just Transition” was actually a huge part of her NDP government’s plans.
Insert flashback music here.
It’s November 2015, the newly minted NDP government are celebrating a big election win, and are moving forward with their climate change strategy.
(You know, the one they accidentally forgot to mention that they were going to implement if they won).
New Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks, Shannon Phillips, commissions a blue-ribbon report by a team of high-profile academics, to help the NDP figure out exactly how to fulfil their campaign promise (sorry, their campaign omission).
Several months later, the “Climate Leadership Report” is released, setting out the government’s vision for climate policy and – guess what?
The “Just Transition” is a key part of the NDP’s Climate Leadership Report!
Yep, that’s right – forget not knowing what the “Just Transition” is, and claiming not to support the federal government’s plan.
In reality, it was Rachel Notley’s government who wrote the policy in the first place, and then made it a critical part of their entire environmental policy agenda.
Here are some extracts from the report…
In a section discussing mitigating the impacts of carbon pricing on low- and middle-income Albertans, the NDP said they would “support a sound and just transition for labour and communities…”
Later in the report, the authors highlight a quote from their friends at the Alberta Federation of Labour.
This quote is really just one gigantic contradiction, given the government is literally legislating their employment out of existence:
Next, the report talks about what the workers who lose their jobs might need to do as part of this “transition” – it notes that they may need assistance with “relocation”:
Oh, sorry, did the government legislate away your job?
Not to worry, we’ll “fix” it for you by helping you walk away from your entire life and move somewhere else.
Remember how Rachel Notley said Albertans might have to move to BC to find work while she was Premier?
Yeah, we’d prefer Albertans could find work here in Alberta, thanks.
Here’s the thing…
Not only did the Alberta NDP support the concept of a federal “Just Transition” when they were in government, they were also actively implementing their own “Just Transition” – 8 years earlier than the federal government!
And yet now they claim to not support the idea at all?
No wonder it took so long for Rachel Notley to answer the question.
She was probably just surprised that no one in the media had dug up her own support of “Just Transition” legislation from years before, and was wondering if she could get away with pretending she hadn’t.
Well, we’re not surprised no one in the media bothered looking.
But, we did look, and thank goodness we did!
Thank you to our researchers who dug up this document, which I’m sure the NDP would have preferred we’d not found.
If you’d like to help us do even more research like this, please click here to make a donation to our work.
Otherwise, if you haven’t signed the No Unjust Transition petition yet, please click here to do so now.
Rachel Notley’s claim to now be opposed to the exact thing that she herself implemented is not credible.
She can run from it, but she can’t hide.
Her environmental policies put Alberta into one of its deepest recessions ever.
And we can’t afford to repeat those mistakes.
Edmonton triples venture capital investment in 2023
Alberta’s tech sector continues its strong momentum, with Edmonton seeing its strongest growth ever, proof Alberta remains a hot tech market.
As global and national investment have declined, Alberta has remained a strong tech market and is showing continued leadership, as shown by Pitchbook ranking Calgary as the 12th fastest-growing tech ecosystem in the world and LinkedIn ranking Calgary as one of the best places to hire and recruit tech workers.
At the end of 2023, Alberta’s five-year growth rate for venture capital dollars invested reached an impressive 48.5 per cent, more than triple Canada’s compounded average growth rate of 13 per cent, according to the 2023 Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association fourth-quarter report.
The province’s growth rate means Alberta finished 2023 with $707 million invested over 86 deals, in line with Alberta’s 2022 record-breaking year. In contrast, Canada ended the year with a 31 per cent decline in investments. Over the past five years, Alberta technology companies have secured more than $2.7 billion in venture capital funding across 350 deals, creating thousands of jobs for Albertans.
“While Canada as a whole saw massive declines, Alberta has held steady. We are a major venture capital player in Canada, as technology drives growth across all sectors.”
Alberta’s two largest cities continued to attract investment dollars in 2023, with Calgary and Edmonton coming in fourth and fifth respectively for number of deals, with $501 million invested in 64 deals in Calgary and $188 million invested in 21 deals in Edmonton. Edmonton saw a 324 per cent increase from $58 million in 2022 to $188 million in 2023. In total, Alberta captured 10.3 per cent of dollars invested in 2023 and 13 per cent of venture capital deals in Canada.
“Edmonton’s tripling of venture capital investment in 2023 underscores our city’s position as a dynamic tech capital within Alberta’s thriving innovation ecosystem, reaffirming our role as a powerhouse driving technological advancement and economic prosperity across diverse sectors. It is the local innovators’ relentless pursuit of solutions to real-world problems, with the continuing support of the Government of Alberta, which not only attracts significant investment but also propels our city to the forefront of Alberta’s tech revolution and fosters job creation for our community.”
“At Platform Calgary we are working with our partners to continue this momentum by linking up high potential tech startups with the investors that can help them take their businesses to the next level. The evidence is clear, Alberta is emerging as one of the most exciting and resilient tech ecosystems in the world. Together with our growing tech community, we can secure Alberta’s position as the best place in the world for anyone to launch and grow a tech business.”
Alberta remains a growing market for the technology and innovation sector, and Alberta’s government celebrates its steady contribution to the Alberta economy, including in the fourth quarter of 2023. The end of last year saw venture capital investments in the province increase by 35 per cent for dollars invested and 19 per cent for deals closed compared with the third quarter. There were 25 deals closed valued at a combined $173 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Shining a spotlight on Alberta athletes, sport leaders
Alberta’s government is continuing to support the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, so it can showcase the province’s sport legacy for years to come.
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the accomplishments of more than 1,600 Albertans, from Olympic gold medallists to community sport leaders. To continue supporting this long-standing legacy, the government is providing $302,500 to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Museum. This funding will support the operations of the facility and the organization’s management and delivery of the annual Alberta Sport Recognition Awards.
“Alberta’s future is stronger when we understand and preserve our history and celebrate our successes. Places like the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame help us do just that. I’m proud our government is supporting it, as it spotlights Albertans with incredible athletic achievements and community contributions.”
“The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame has long been a cherished attraction in our community, offering Albertans inspiration and a window into the remarkable legacy of our athletes and community sport leaders. With our government’s investment in this institution, Red Deer’s tourism will undoubtedly grow, bringing significant benefits to our community and surrounding areas.”
“I am pleased to see the government’s support for the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame continue. This organization enriches the sport community in central Alberta, inspires the next generation of athletes and preserves our province’s history in sport excellence.”
The Hall of Fame provides a space where the accomplishments of the sport community in Alberta are preserved and inspires the province’s future athletes and community leaders. Albertans recognized in the Hall of Fame include Melody Davidson, who was inducted in 2008 for her excellence in hockey, serving as a two-time Olympic gold medal-winning head coach for Team Canada women’s hockey, and Lanny McDonald, who was inducted in 1993 following a long and successful career in professional hockey. Last year, 12 inductees were nominated, including Patrick Jarvis and Theresa Maxwell for their success in Paralympics and volleyball.
This funding will ensure that Albertans can continue to celebrate the province’s turning-point moments and growing legacy in sport.
“We are grateful for the support we have received from the Alberta government. Their funding has played a pivotal role in sustaining the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, allowing us to preserve and celebrate the rich sporting history of our province. This support not only enhances our ability to showcase the achievements of the athletes, teams and sport champions but also reinforces the significant role sport plays in our community.”
“Red Deer proudly stands as a hub for sports excellence, and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame plays a pivotal role in preserving and promoting our province’s rich athletic legacy. The City of Red Deer is grateful for the Alberta government’s continued support, ensuring that this institution continues to inspire future generations by showcasing the remarkable achievements of our athletes and community leaders.”
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame helps grow tourism in Red Deer and the surrounding area by attracting visitors to the facility to enjoy interactive sport-oriented games and activities and sport memorabilia. In the past two years, an estimated 20,000 people have visited the Hall of Fame annually. Exhibits on different sports and sport organizations, including the Hall of Fame Gallery that showcases the athletes and sport builders who have been inducted annually since 1957, are also available to view.
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