Rachel Notley vows to work with PM of any stripe, but she'll vote NDP
Premier tries to allay concerns from private sector over falling oil prices, increased corporate taxes
Premier Rachel Notley tried to reassure Alberta's nervous energy sector Friday with a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce that stressed stability while also advancing her government's plans for change.
She also noted that, while she plans to vote for the federal NDP in the Oct. 19 federal election, she will work cooperatively with a federal government of any stripe.
"As Premier of Alberta, I intend to pick up our conversation with either Prime Minister Mulcair, or Prime Minister Harper, or Prime Minister Trudeau, in pursuit of the same Albertan interests," she said.
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Notley noted she's the fourth premier the province has seen in a period of two years that involved a lot of "exciting drama" swirling around the legislature, but now her majority government offers a chance for "political stability" in Alberta.
"Now is the time for a little less drama and a little more governing, in the public interest ... which gives us an opportunity to deal with some important matters that require a steady hand and some careful thought," the premier said.
It's her duty as premier, Notley said, to ensure the government acts as "honest, thoughtful partners" to the private sector, especially during tumultuous economic times.
"Alberta will continue to be a healthy place for private investment under our government," she said. "Our energy industry is a foundation of our economy, and will be for many years to come."
'Past due' on climate policy
She also pledged to continue pressing ahead with more ambitious plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions, something she believes goes hand-in-hand with the future of the oil and gas sector.
"We are listening carefully to Albertans about this issue, because Albertans feel strongly – as do many business leaders in the energy industry – that it is long, long past due for us in the Government of Alberta to get it right on the environment," Notley said.
"Failing to move on climate change will actually generate more instability than getting in line with where the rest of the world is going," the premier later added, during a question-and-answer session with Calgary Chamber president Adam Legge.
"More and more, investors are looking to invest in an industry that has done its work on climate change."
She also reiterated that the royalty review currently underway won't result in an immediate change to the province's royalty rates.
Any policy changes on royalties will be announced by the end of 2015 and wouldn't come into effect until January 2017, Notley said.
"This review is about ensuring that, as prices recover, we collect and begin to save an appropriate share of our own resource wealth in the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund, for the future of our children and our grandchildren," she said.