This year, the province fought to get top dollar for our energy resources by launching a made-in-Alberta strategy to build new pipelines and add value by upgrading more of our oil and gas here at home.
Premier Rachel Notley and her government fought to protect workers and the Canadian economy by taking action in the short, medium and long term.
“For decades, Albertans have been talking about getting more value for our oil here at home. It’s time to stop settling for less. We’re grabbing the bull by the horns with a made-in-Alberta strategy to create more jobs, open new markets for our oil and gas, and make more of the energy products the world needs.”
Major boost to energy upgrading
In the long term, the province doubled support for petrochemical upgrading to $2.1 billion, which will leverage private investment that’s expected to help create about 15,000 jobs.
Alberta also created a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) investment team to work directly with industry on reducing barriers for securing final investment decisions on export projects that will increase the value of Alberta’s natural gas resources.
In response to strong industry encouragement, Alberta is taking action to explore private-sector interest in building a new oil refinery in the province. Building new refining capacity would create good-paying, long-term jobs for Albertans while helping lower the oil price differential over the long term.
“Large industrial value-add energy investments help provide economic resilience and diversification, and create highly skilled, well-paying jobs for decades. Alberta has abundant feedstock, skilled labour and the ability to refine our resources to high-value products the world needs. There is significant international competition for these projects and for Alberta to compete, government and industry must work together. We commend the government’s focus on ensuring that the value of Alberta’s resources stays with Albertans.”
Fighting for pipelines and market access
The government also continued its fight for new pipelines. Premier Notley’s advocacy was instrumental in the federal government’s decision to purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline. As well, the Premier continues to fight for needed changes on two federal bills:
Bill C-69, which would create a new, far-reaching impact assessment process for resource development projects.
Bill C-48, which would impose a moratorium on oil tankers off the north coast of B.C.
This year, the province also launched the nationwide Keep Canada Working campaign to explain to Canadians the benefits of new pipeline access. The latest push includes a real-time lost-revenue counter to show just how much Canadians are missing out on by keeping Alberta’s energy resources landlocked.
“Under Premier Rachel Notley’s leadership, more Canadians than ever before support this project because they know we shouldn’t be selling our products on the cheap. There’s too much at stake. We will keep the federal government’s feet to the fire so that this project isn’t delayed any further.”
Over the medium term, the government took action to build more capacity for moving oil by rail to clear the backlog and stabilize the market. Upwards of 7,000 new rail cars will come online in 2019 to move 120,000 barrels a day out of the province to markets where Alberta oil can earn the best value possible.
In the short term, Premier Notley protected the value of Alberta’s resources by mandating a temporary reduction in oil production. The decision, in response to a historically high oil price differential, has prevented thousands of job losses and helped restore the value of Alberta’s oil. The price gap is caused by the federal government’s decades-long inability to build pipelines.
Saving industry time and money
A more efficient regulatory process means new oil and gas projects can begin operating faster, creating jobs and maintaining competitiveness. The new process is fairer, faster and more accessible, saving industry hundreds of millions of dollars while making the process more transparent and accessible for Albertans. The new approach is expected to save industry $600 million by 2021, and is helping reduce the regulatory review time for an oil sands project from five years to just 15 months.
Strong energy future in the oil sands
Two major oil sands milestones were also celebrated in 2018. Premier Notley and Minister McCuaig-Boyd joined Suncor for the successful startup of the Fort Hills project, which put 7,900 people to work at the peak of construction and is employing 1,400 people full time now that the project is operational.
The government also highlighted a new $400-million investment in the Long Lake South West project by Nexen, a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC Ltd. With leading-edge technology, the project illustrates that a major oil sands producer can be both an energy and environmental leader while showing a long-term commitment to creating good jobs in Alberta’s energy sector.
“The Long Lake South West project demonstrates CNOOC Limited’s long-term commitment to the Alberta energy sector. Our oil sands development is an important component of our global portfolio, and through technological advancements we are pleased to be responsibly growing our production while reducing our overall emissions.”
New jobs, private investment in wind power
Private companies are partnering with First Nations to invest close to $1.2 billion in renewable energy projects in Alberta. This helps create new jobs and continues with record-setting low prices for Albertans. These results showcase Alberta as a proud leader in all forms of energy.
The five successful projects are made possible through the latest phase of the Alberta government’s Renewable Electricity Program. They include investments from homegrown Alberta companies, as well as from new investors from across Canada and around the world.
In total, the new developments will create about 1,000 jobs, attract new economic opportunities for Indigenous communities and bring an estimated $175 million in rural benefits over the life of the projects.
Alberta Emergency Alerts has cancelled the High Level and Bushe River Reserve emergency alerts and have consolidated them into a larger Mackenzie County alert.
Reception centres are open at:
Slave Lake Legacy Centre (400 6 Avenue)
High Prairie Gordon Buchanan Centre (5409 49 Street)
Grande Prairie Regional College (10726 106 Avenue)
Peace River Misery Mountain Ski Hill (10408 89 Street)
La Crete Heritage Centre (25411 Township Road 1060, south of La Crete)
Fort Vermilion Community Cultural Complex (5001 44 Avenue)
Hay River Dene Wellness Centre (In K’atl’ Odeeche First Nation, 17 kilometres east of Hay River)
Highway 35 remains closed between five kilometres and 30 kilometres south of High Level. Highway 697 and the La Crete Ferry is identified as a detour. La Crete Ferry is operational with wait times of approximately one hour.
Highway 58 from High Level to approximately 70 kilometres from the junction with Range Road 45A remains closed.
Evacuated residents should retain all their receipts for food purchases, accommodation and other related expenses to provide to their insurer for possible reimbursement.
Most home and tenant’s insurance policies provide reasonable coverage for living expenses during an evacuation. Contact your insurance company for details.
Alberta Wildfire recommends checking FireSmoke.ca to find out where the smoke is coming from.
Mental health support is available by calling Alberta’s 24-hour Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.
Pets and livestock
Animal Control are collecting household pets that have been left behind. Pets will be moved to a safe and secure location outside of the Town of High Level. If you have left your household pet behind, please contact 780-926-2201.
Mackenzie County has stock trailers to assist with livestock. transport. Visit www.highlevel.ca for more information.
Donations and volunteers
The towns of High Level and Slave Lake are not accepting material donations and do not require volunteers at this time.
Residents receiving benefits from the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) or the Income Support program by cheque rather than electronic deposit, and who are affected by the wildfire in High Level, can visit their nearest Alberta Supports Centres Alberta Supports[www.alberta.ca/alberta-supports.aspx] to pick up their cheque.
If you are in La Crete, you can pick up your cheque at the local reception centre. If you receive your benefits via direct deposit, your payment will be deposited as usual.
For information on child intervention and child care, residents may contact 1-800-638-0715.
If persons with developmental disabilities, their families or contracted service providers need human, financial, or in-kind assistance to connect with loved ones, find accommodations or provide assistance to individuals receiving PDD supports, please contact the nearest Alberta Supports Centre for assistance. You can find a list of Alberta Supports Centres online Alberta Supportswww.alberta.ca/alberta-supports.aspx or you can call the Alberta Supports contact Centre at 1-800-232-7215 provincewide between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Health card, driver’s licences, ID cards, birth certificate
To get a replacement Health Care Insurance Card at no cost, you can contact 780-427-1432 or toll free at 310-0000 and then 780-427-1432 when prompted. Your Alberta Personal Health Card can be mailed to a temporary address.
If driver’s licences, ID cards, and/or birth certificates were left behind during the evacuation, replacement cards and certificates can be ordered free of charge at a registry agent. A list of registry locations can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/registry-agents.aspx
Residents driving through the area should carry enough fuel as there may be shortages.
Residents of northwest Alberta who were evacuated under mandatory order due to wildfire will receive funding of $1,250 per adult and $500 per dependent child.
Evacuees can begin registering for their MyAlberta digital ID anytime and can apply for emergency payments beginning Sunday at noon. Funds can take up to 24 hours to flow into accounts. Debit cards will be available starting Monday for those who are unable to receive e-transfers.
“Our government is committed to ensuring no one is left behind as a result of this wildfire. That means supporting evacuees with their short-term financial needs while they are away from their homes and communities. We understand the significant stress evacuees are under right now, and will be there for them in their time of need.”Kaycee Madu, Minister of Municipal Affairs
“These one-time emergency payments will help defray the costs that residents have incurred because of the mandatory evacuation order. We hope that sharing the costs of day-to-day, essential expenses will provide some peace of mind for residents during this stressful time.”Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Community and Social Services
“Conditions in northwest Alberta remain dangerous and still require caution. These emergency payments will make it easier for families to be out of their homes until it is safe to return.”Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
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Since it's inception in 1957, hundreds of Albertans have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. We invite everyone to join us in this celebration of both new Inductees and
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