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Alberta

Enserva key to unlocking Canadian energy: CEO Gurpreet Lail

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Photo for the Canadian Energy Centre by Dave Chidley

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Cody Ciona

“We are in the quality of life business, and that’s exactly what our business provides.”

A lawyer by education, with terms in high profile roles as executive director of STARS Air Ambulance and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Calgary, Gurpreet Lail is no stranger to working in organizations dedicated to helping everyday Canadians.  

Now two years into her term as the president and CEO of Enserva , formerly known as the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, Lail’s work continues to focus on improving quality of life. 

She has no qualms about stating her support for the work the energy industry is doing. 

“I will be the first one to say stop apologizing for the work we do, because the work that we do actually, no pun intended, fuels Canadians. We are in the quality of life business, and that’s exactly what our business provides.” 

Enserva represents the service, supply and manufacturing sectors of the Canadian energy industry. This includes companies that supply hydraulic fracturing services to equipment suppliers and oilfield construction. 

As the energy industry innovates towards more sustainable, low emissions products, she is confident that Enserva’s membership is more than up for the challenge. 

“We are all moving to a new energy mix, and we all realize that as an industry we’re going to need new forms of energy to help us meet the demands of the future, especially when we look at global demand,” Lail says. 

“Every company we represent has been diversifying their business to make sure we have a cleaner future. A lot of our companies are bringing in technology and artificial intelligence processes that are going to help streamline energy well into the future. 

Photo for the Canadian Energy Centre by Dave Chidley

Enserva members are unlocking Canadian energy to make the world a better place, she says.  

“They bring their services, they bring their supplies, they bring their manufacturing, globally.” 

This includes technology used by drilling companies to replace their diesel fleets with natural gas power and other alternative energy sources, which reduces emissions while drilling wells. 

“They just want to do good work, they want to make sure we can provide for Canadians, and they want to provide back into the community with community investments,” Lail says. 

 “You cannot go into rural Alberta or rural Canada and not see energy companies putting up community rinks or helping local hospitals or making sure your local Tim Hortons is still in business.” 

Indigenous reconciliation is an ongoing process, and in Canada, where the oil and gas industry employs thousands of Indigenous workers across the country, she says working with those communities is crucial. 

“It’s a good thing to do and it’s the right thing to do, and a lot of other industries aren’t quite thinking that way.” 

In her eight years at STARS, Lail helped grow the organization to span three provinces and was a leading driver working with Enserva on the annual STARS & Spurs Gala. The event has raised over $20 million, 29 years and counting. 

“STARS has become a fabric of our businesses; it helps save lives including those of our members, and we’re proud of that.” 

In the ever-changing dynamic of Canada’s oil and gas industry, more women are finding themselves, like Lail, driving the conversation about Canadian energy. 

“If there’s young women out there, or women in general I would always tell them to get involved and don’t shy away from coming into the sector,” she says. 

Alberta

Male suspect involved in tragic incident between Beaumont and Edmonton sought by police; EPS release photos of suspect

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News release from the Edmonton Police Service (EPS)

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is assisting the RCMP with the investigation into a tragic incident that claimed the life of an innocent woman last night on 50 Street.

Yesterday, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, at approximately 9:40 p.m. various EPS resources were deployed to the area of 50 Street and 22 Avenue SW at the request of the RCMP. It was reported to police that RCMP attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a suspicious U-Haul in Beaumont, when the vehicle fled. The U-Haul subsequently travelled north on 50 Street into Edmonton, where it struck and killed a woman inspecting the exterior of her vehicle. Moments later the U-Haul came to rest just outside a gas station off of 22 Avenue and 50 Street.

After crashing the U-Haul, the male suspect then reportedly stole a Honda Civic that was parked outside the gas station with a child inside. Police did consider an Alert to the public at the time, though thankfully the child was located unharmed in the area of 66 Street and 25 Avenue minutes later. The suspect then fled the scene in the Honda Civic. The stolen vehicle has since been recovered outside of Edmonton.

The EPS and RCMP continue to actively seek the identity and whereabouts of the male suspect described as being approximately 5’11” who was last seen wearing a black hoodie with white text on the front, brown shorts and black shoes. CCTV photos of the suspect are included below.

“We are incredibly saddened to hear about the tragic death of the innocent woman who was killed on 50 Street,” says Det. Nigel Phillips with the EPS Investigative Response Team. “Our hearts are with her family and friends who will now have to carry on with this unfathomable loss.”

“We are doing everything we can to track down the suspect and we trust the public will help us identify and locate him as soon as possible.”

Assist to identify and locate: Male suspect running in area of 50 Street & 22 Avenue SW
While the RCMP is leading this investigation, the EPS is assisting and working collaboratively with its law enforcement partners.

Anyone with information about the suspect’s identity and/or their whereabouts is asked to contact the EPS immediately at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

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Alberta

Low emissions, Indigenous-owned Cascade Power Project to boost Alberta electrical grid reliability

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The Cascade Power Project. Photo courtesy Kinetcor

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Will Gibson

New 900-megawatt natural gas-fired facility to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s power needs

Alberta’s electrical grid is about to get a boost in reliability from a major new natural gas-fired power plant owned in part by Indigenous communities.  

Next month operations are scheduled to start at the Cascade Power Project, which will have enough capacity to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s energy needs.  

It’s good news in a province where just over one month ago an emergency alert suddenly blared on cell phones and other electronic devices warning residents to immediately reduce electricity use to avoid outages.  

“Living in an energy-rich province, we sometimes take electricity for granted,” says Chana Martineau, CEO of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) and member of the Frog Lake First Nation.  

“Given much of the province was dealing with -40C weather at the time, that alert was a vivid reminder of the importance of having a reliable electrical grid.” 

Cascade Power was the first project to receive funding through the AIOC, the provincial corporation established in 2020 to provide loan guarantees for Indigenous groups seeking partnerships in major development projects. 

So far, the AIOC has underwritten more than $500 million in support. This year it has $3 billion  available, up from $2 billion in 2023.  

In August 2020 it provided a $93 million loan guarantee to the Indigenous Communities Consortium — comprised of the Alexis Nakota Sioux NationEnoch Cree NationKehewin Cree NationOChiese First NationPaul First Nation, and Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation — to become equity owners. 

The 900-megawatt, $1.5-billion facility is scheduled to come online in March. 

“It’s personally gratifying for me to see how we moved from having Indigenous communities being seen as obstacles to partners in a generation,” says Martineau. 

The added capacity brought by Cascade is welcomed by the Alberta Electrical System Operator (AESO), which is responsible for the provinces electrical grid. =

“The AESO welcomes all new forms of generation into the Alberta marketplace, including renewables, thermal, storage, and others,” said Diane Kossman, a spokeswoman for the agency.  

“It is imperative that Alberta continue to have sufficient dispatchable generation to serve load during peak demand periods when other forms of generation are not able to contribute in a meaningful way.” 

The Cascade project also provides environmental benefits. It is a so-called “combined cycle” power facility, meaning it uses both a gas turbine and a steam turbine simultaneously to produce up to 50 per cent more electricity from the same amount of fuel than a traditional facility.  

Once complete, Cascade is expected to be the largest and most efficient combined cycle power plant in Alberta, producing 62 per cent less CO2 than a coal-fired power plant and 30 per cent less CO2 than a typical coal-to-gas conversion.  

“This project really is aligned with the goals of Indigenous communities on environmental performance,” says Martineau. 

The partnership behind the power plant includes Axium InfrastructureDIF Capital Partners  and Kineticor Resource Corp. along with the Indigenous Communities Consortium. 

The nations invested through a partnership with OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest pension funds.  

“Innovation is not just what we invest in, but it is also how we invest,” said James Davis, OPTrust’s chief investment officer. 

“The participation of six First Nations in the Cascade Power Project is a prime example of what is possible when investors, the government and local communities work together.” 

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