Calgary

AER lays off dozens of employees, with more cuts on the way

The Alberta Energy Regulator has laid off dozens of staff with more cuts on the way in the coming weeks. 

Agency is currently under review by the provincial government

The Alberta Energy Regulator confirmed dozens of positions have been cut, and budget documents show the number of positions is expected to drop to 970. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)

The Alberta Energy Regulator has laid off dozens of staff with more cuts on the way in the coming weeks. 

Interim CEO Gordon Lambert announced on Tuesday the agency has been working to finalize a new organizational structure.

"The new structure is simpler, one with less hierarchy, less duplication and more integration," he said in an emailed release.

"Over the next few weeks, leaders throughout our organization will be making decisions on how best to resource their teams and functions. This is a difficult time for staff, and resources are available for both those who depart and those who stay."

AER spokesperson Cara Tobin said a couple dozen positions have been affected at this point, with more layoffs expected before the end of February.

The AER, which is funded by a levy charged to Alberta's energy industry, oversees that sector and is expected to ensure safe and environmentally responsible development.

Its been under scrutiny since Alberta's auditor general, public interest commissioner and ethics commissioner launched probes into the watchdog, detailing gross mismanagement and a culture of fear in their reviews.

The province removed the agency's board, cut its funding by about 22 per cent and launched its own review in the fall.

An October 2019 update from the agency stated that, at the time, the AER had less than 1,160 full-time employees, and budget documents show the number of positions is expected to drop to 970.

With files from Lucie Edwardson

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