December 4, 2023

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Greater than 50 Alberta CEOs, entrepreneurs and business leaders are in Ottawa this week in an effort to boost the profile of their province and promote “collaboration” on points associated to power, local weather and the economic system.

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Led by a consortium of Alberta financial improvement companies, chambers of commerce and coverage organizations, the delegation consists of executives from a number of the province’s largest companies in addition to startups from a variety of industries.

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Organizers say it’s the largest enterprise delegation to Ottawa from Alberta in latest reminiscence. The group — which has dubbed itself the “One Alberta, One Canada” delegation — has conferences and occasions scheduled with numerous cupboard ministers, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was slated to handle the delegation at a night reception.

“I don’t know the final time I ever recall this huge a gaggle of executives and firms coming to Ottawa,” stated Cenovus Power govt chair Alex Pourbaix, a member of the delegation, in an interview from Ottawa Tuesday.

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“We’re first attempting to coach folks out right here in regards to the variety of companies and alternative in Alberta — and on prime of that, you already know, there are a whole lot of points at play proper now.”

The enterprise leaders’ journey to Ottawa comes amid souring relations between Alberta’s UCP authorities and the federal Liberals.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has threatened to make use of the province’s sovereignty act to problem the federal authorities’s clear electrical energy laws. She additionally prompted a nationwide stir just lately by detailing how the province may exit the Canada Pension Plan.

This week, Alberta government-funded advertisements in regards to the perceived dangers of federal emissions discount insurance policies rolled out throughout numerous markets — together with in Ottawa, the place the province has paid to plaster vans with banner advertisements warning passersby that the federal plan will result in larger electrical energy payments.

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In his speech to the Alberta delegation Tuesday night, Trudeau stated there are politicians who “would quite rile up folks’s anxieties” than give attention to what might be completed for the setting and the economic system.

However he stated he believes Alberta corporations and entrepreneurs will probably be a key position in main the power improvements Canada must develop a low-carbon economic system.

“I do know that politics and different challenges have us divided, or folks stating variations,” Trudeau stated.

“The very fact of the matter is, we don’t construct the appropriate future for Canada if Alberta isn’t on the centre of all the pieces we do.”

‘Albertans are all in on Canada’: Cenovus CEO

Pourbaix stated Alberta’s enterprise leaders are eager to give attention to coverage, quite than “the political points that would work extra to separate us than deliver us collectively.”

“Albertans are all in on Canada,” he stated.

“We share a whole lot of the aspirations of the federal authorities in relation to decarbonization … however we’ve to have very, very considerate discussions in regards to the tempo of that, and the affect on Canadians when it comes to what it will imply to our value of residing, and what it will imply to our high quality of life.”

Alberta — which will get most of its electrical energy from pure gas-fired energy crops — has objected to Ottawa’s said objective to get Canada to a net-zero electrical energy grid by 2035, arguing that timeframe isn’t achievable with out placing reliability and affordability in danger.

The province can also be strongly against the federal authorities’s promised cap on emissions from the oil and gasoline sector, which is anticipated to be unveiled quickly.

However most of the province’s largest corporations are additionally looking for federal assist with their very own emissions-reduction plans.

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Pourbaix, for instance, by way of his position with Cenovus, is closely concerned within the Pathways Alliance — a gaggle of Alberta oilsands corporations which has been lobbying the federal authorities for monetary and coverage assist for a proposed large carbon seize and storage community to assist cut back emissions from Canada’s oil business.

Enterprise leaders in Ottawa to ‘construct relationships’

Alberta can also be looking for to boost the profile of its fast-growing tech sector and appeal to extra expert labour to the province. Statistics Canada information launched final week confirmed the province’s inhabitants grew by 4.1 per cent within the 12 months previous to July 1 — a sooner clip than anyplace else within the nation.

The provincial authorities’s ongoing “Alberta is Calling” advert marketing campaign goals to entice Canadians from different components of the nation to maneuver to the western province.

Nicole Janssen, the co-founder of Edmonton-based synthetic intelligence firm AltaML, stated whereas the province is thought for its oil and gasoline business, it additionally has rising strengths in AI, biotechnology, low-carbon power and extra.

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