Alberta increases oil production limit for April

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In response to data available, Alberta is increasing production in April by 25,000 barrels to a total of about 3.66 million barrels a day, an overall increase of 100,000 barrel per day from the January limit.

Factors related to the increase in the limit are:

  • Storage levels have shown some volatility but have trended downward from January.
  • The difference in price between Alberta heavy oil (WCS) and the U.S. mid-continent price (WTI), which can be an indicator of capacity shortfall, remains narrow.
  • Warmer weather in spring can increase transportation capacity with potentially less diluent needed in pipelines.

“As we fight to get full value for the resources owned by all Albertans, we know that our plan is working as we continue to reduce the amount of oil we have in storage. The decision to temporarily limit production was applied fairly and equitably, and our plan is working to stop allowing our resource to be sold for pennies on the dollar. A short-term production limit is not ideal or sustainable, which is exactly why we have a plan to move more oil by rail in the coming months while we fight for the long-term solution of building pipelines to new markets.”

Rachel Notley, Premier

This change is part of the progress towards Alberta’s original goal of reducing production by an average of 95,000bpd overall by the end of the year when the policy is scheduled to end.


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Orders in Council

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HONOURABLE MR. ANDERSON

63/2019

FISCAL PLANNING AND TRANSPARENCY ACT (section 7) – Amends Order in Council numbered O.C. 283/2018 to expand the geographical boundaries of the October 1, 2018 disaster declaration.

HONOURABLE MR. CECI

64/2019

ATB FINANCIAL ACT (section 3) – Effective June 16, 2019, reappoints Manjit Minhas, Robert Pearce and Diane Pettie as members of the board of directors of ATB Financial, each for a term to expire on June 15, 2022, and appoints Diane Brickner as a member of the board of directors of ATB Financial for a term to expire on June 15, 2022.

65/2019

FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION ACT (sections 56 and 58) – Amends Order in Council numbered O.C. 4/2014 to increase the borrowing limit of the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission from $800 million to $1 billion.

66/2019

SECURITIES ACT (sections 11 and 13) – Reappoints Maryse Saint-Laurent as a member of the Alberta Securities Commission for a term to expire on March 31, 2022; effective April 1, 2019, appoints Matthew Bootle and Gail Harding as members of the Alberta Securities Commission, each for a term to expire on March 31, 2022; effective April 1, 2019, designates Kathryn Chisholm, Q.C., as the lead independent member of the Alberta Securities Commission for a term to expire on March 31, 2020.

HONOURABLE MS GANLEY

67/2019

CRIMINAL CODE (CANADA) (sections 672.38 and 672.4) – Effective June 1, 2019, appoints S. Jill Taylor as a member and designates her as chairperson of the Alberta Review Board for a term to expire on May 31, 2022.

68/2019

FATALITY INQUIRIES ACT (section 2) – Effective March 14, 2019, appoints Joshua Bergman as a member of the Fatality Review Board for a term to expire on March 13, 2022.

69/2019

VICTIMS OF CRIME ACT (section 7) – Appoints Linda Klein as a member of the Criminal Injuries Review Board for a further term to expire on February 26, 2022, and appoints Dr. Randy Rana Naiker as a member of the Criminal Injuries Review Board for a term to expire on February 26, 2022; effective June 5, 2019, reappoints Deborah Gust as a member of the Criminal Injuries Review Board for a term to expire on June 4, 2022, and appoints Lisa Heighington as a member of the Criminal Injuries Review Board for a term to expire on June 4, 2022.

HONOURABLE MS GRAY

70/2019

ALBERTA PUBLIC AGENCIES GOVERNANCE ACT (section 14); LABOUR RELATIONS CODE (section 8) – Reappoints several persons for various terms as members of the Labour Relations Board; appoints Geoffrey Eustergerling, Raelene Fitz, Corinne Galway and Darren Leclair as members of the Labour Relations Board, each for a term to expire on February 26, 2022.

71/2019

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ACT (section 5) – Appoints Mike Boyle as a member of the board of directors of The Workers’ Compensation Board for a term to expire on February 26, 2022.

HONOURABLE MR. MALKINSON

72/2019

FOREIGN OWNERSHIP OF LAND REGULATIONS (section 14) – Orders that the transaction under which G3 Canada Limited or any affiliate of G3 Canada Limited acquires the fee simple interest in certain lands for the purposes of constructing and operating a grain elevator facility and related infrastructure is excluded from the operation of the Foreign Ownership of Land Regulations, except for sections 22 and 25.

HONOURABLE MR. MASON

73/2019

TRAFFIC SAFETY ACT (section 22) – Appoints Gordon Dale Bogstie and Patricia Coleen Gregory as members of the Alberta Transportation Safety Board, each for a term to expire on February 26, 2022.

74/2019

TRAFFIC SAFETY ACT (sections 22 and 23) – Effective April 9, 2019, appoints Lynn Varty as a member and designates her as Chair of the Alberta Transportation Safety Board for a term to expire on April 8, 2022.

HONOURABLE MS MCCUAIG-BOYD

75/2019

OIL AND GAS CONSERVATION ACT (section 10); OIL SANDS CONSERVATION ACT (section 20); RESPONSIBLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ACT (section 68) – Makes the Curtailment Rules Amendment Regulation.

Orders in Council can now be viewed on the Queen’s Printer website at: http://www.qp.alberta.ca/507.cfm

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Support bullying prevention on Pink Shirt Day

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Community and Social Services Minister Irfan Sabir with School Trustee Linda Wellman celebrating Pink Shirt Day with students at St. John XXIII School in Calgary.

Pink Shirt Day began when two young students in Nova Scotia supported a classmate who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. The initiative is now an international movement, and Albertans celebrate it every year.

This year, everyone is encouraged to wear pink and share pictures of themselves on social media using the hashtags #PinkShirtDay and #EndBullyingAB to help raise awareness about bullying and the ways people can get help.

“Bullying has no place in our schools, workplaces or communities. I am proud to work with our many community partners to support Pink Shirt Day. By wearing pink, we are saying that bullying is not an acceptable part of our lives – at work, at home or online.”

Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services

“We’re proud to support Pink Shirt Day and promote welcoming, caring, respectful and safe schools for all students. Students are better able to achieve success and a positive sense of self when learning environments support them to build healthy relationships with others, value diversity, and demonstrate respect, empathy and compassion. Our government does not tolerate bullying and we will always stand up for Alberta students.”

David Eggen, Minister of Education

Get help

If you or someone you know is being bullied:

Take action

Promote healthy relationships by:

  • Setting an example for others.
  • Taking responsibility for your mistakes.
  • Telling someone if you are being bullied or witness bullying.
  • Listening to those who are experiencing bullying, providing support and encouraging them to seek help.
  • Being respectful, kind and supportive of others.

Quick facts

  • According to Statistics Canada:
    • One in five Canadians aged 15-29 report being cyberbullied.
    • One in five children is affected by bullying.
    • Women face a higher risk of being bullied than men.
    • 85 per cent of bullying happens in front of others.


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Alberta child poverty rates cut in half

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New Stats Canada figures show that the child poverty rate dropped by 50 per cent between 2015 and 2017 in Alberta, from 10 per cent to five per cent.

During the same two-year period, the rate of child poverty in homes with a single mom dropped from 36 per cent to 17.6 per cent. Overall poverty in Alberta dropped from 8.2 to 6.8 per cent.

“No child should ever worry about having enough to eat. By taking strong actions to tackle poverty in Alberta, we are helping kids meet their full potential.”

Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services

With the lowest child poverty rates in Canada, Alberta continues to tackle poverty through investments aimed at low- and middle-income families.

In late 2015, two major benefits were introduced. The Alberta Child Benefit provides families making less than $42,255 per year with up to $2,820. Roughly 135,000 families benefited last year. The province also introduced an enhanced Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit, providing benefits of up to $2,064 to 185,000 families last year.

Alberta’s rate of child poverty is significantly lower than the Canadian average of nine per cent.

A 2018 OECD report comparing the latest available international statistics had just two countries, Denmark and Finland, with a child poverty rate lower than five per cent.

Taking Action on Poverty

  • Early Learning and Child Care Centres provide $25-a-day child care for children up to age six. Approximately 7,300 spaces are at 122 licensed centres across the province.
  • Alberta’s minimum wage increased up to $15 per hour on Oct. 1, 2018. In 2015, Alberta’s minimum wage was tied for the lowest in Canada.
  • The School Nutrition Program gives 30,000 students in select elementary schools across the province a daily meal, helping them learn and develop skills toward lifelong healthy nutrition.
  • Alberta’s affordable housing strategy invests $1.2 billion towards affordable housing, giving tenants the tools they need to be successful and encourages them to improve their financial circumstances.
  • An Act to Combat Poverty and Fight for Albertans with Disabilities increased financial supports for Albertans receiving AISH, Income Support and seniors benefits starting Jan. 1, 2019.


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Wildfire operations prepare for 2019 season

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Alberta’s wildfire season officially runs from March 1 to Oct. 31. Across the province’s forest areas, firefighters, equipment and aircraft are being put in place as part of Alberta’s commitment to wildfire response.   

“Protecting Albertans and their communities from the dangers of wildfires is our highest priority, but wildfire prevention is a shared responsibility. More than half our wildfires are human-caused. Getting a permit, following any fire bans or restrictions and burning responsibly are simple ways we can all do our part to prevent wildfires.”

Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

As of March 1, fire permits are required for any burning, except campfires, in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. Fire permits let firefighters know exactly where planned burning is being done. Permits also help prevent false calls, which ensures firefighters are available for real wildfire response. Fire permits are free and can be requested from any Agriculture and Forestry office.

Quick facts

  • Last fire season, 1,288 wildfires burned more than 59,800 hectares in Alberta.
  • More than 60 per cent (777) of 2018’s wildfires were human-caused.
  • If you see a wildfire burning in the forest, report it toll-free at 310-FIRE (3473).


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Deficit down, path to balance on track

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The deficit remains well below projections with the third quarter forecast coming in at $6.9 billion, a drop of $1.9 billion below the Budget 2018 forecast.

Alberta’s economy continued to recover in 2018, but faced challenges near the end of year. The government took decisive action to address the pipeline bottleneck, improving the value of Alberta’s resources. While the ongoing impacts will continue to be felt in 2019, economic growth is expected to bounce back to 2.9 per cent in 2020 and remain solid over the medium term.  

“The deficit is down and the path to balance is on track. Alberta has the strongest balance sheet in the country and that will not change. But there is more work to do. We will continue to fight for an economy that works for everyday families and protect the services they rely on. We will do that while carefully and prudently bringing the budget back to balance.”

Joe Ceci, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

Alberta employment grew by 1.9 per cent in 2018, adding almost 44,000 jobs, with unemployment dropping to 6.6 per cent.

Updating Alberta’s path to balance

Despite ongoing market access challenges, the government has made progress on balancing the budget by the 2023-24 fiscal year. The deficit has come down nearly $4 billion since 2016-17. 

Alberta’s balance sheet was the strongest in the country before the recession and is expected to remain the strongest when the government reaches balance.

Looking to the medium term, government will take a number of actions to ensure growth continues and Alberta remains on a path to balance. This will focus on three key pillars:

  • Enhancing market access and diversifying the economy
  • Protecting core public services while containing costs
  • Maintaining Alberta’s tax advantage with no payroll tax, no sales tax and no health care premiums.


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New affordable housing for Edmonton seniors

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Minister Christina Gray greets Sakaw Terrace residents at the grand opening of the seniors lodge.

The $20-million project, in southeast Edmonton, is funded through the Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement between the governments of Canada and Alberta.

Sakaw Terrace offers 158 housing units – 70 are lodge units, while 88 are affordable seniors apartments. Sixty of the 88 apartments will be offered at 15 per cent below market rent and 49 of the lodge units will be available to low- and moderate-income seniors.

On behalf of Seniors and Housing Minister Lori Sigurdson, Labour Minister Christina Gray made the announcement, along with Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“By ensuring more seniors with low income have access to affordable housing, we’re helping seniors remain in their communities close to family and friends. Our government is proud to support seniors and their families in this fast-growing area of our capital city.”

Lori Sigurdson, Alberta Minister of Seniors and Housing

“The opening of Sakaw Terrace brings more affordable housing to southeast Edmonton, allowing independent seniors to remain close to family and friends, while participating in the livelihood of their communities. Our government remains committed to assisting and investing in our seniors in Alberta and throughout the country.”

Amarjeet Sohi, federal Minister of Natural Resources

“Opening Sakaw Terrace in Mill Woods culminates a 13-year journey to offer seniors a friendly, secure and affordable home. Thoughtful investments by all three levels of government and caring Edmontonians demonstrates our collective commitment to seniors in our community.”

Karen Lynch, chair, Greater Edmonton Foundation

Quick facts

  • The governments of Alberta and Canada provided a combined investment of about $20 million under the Investment in Affordable Housing Agreement.
  • The City of Edmonton provided $4.2 million plus donated the land, which is valued at $2.4 million.
  • The Greater Edmonton Foundation housing management body provided $100,000 in land value.
  • The foundation owns the land and the new Sakaw Terrace building.
  • The foundation will finance the remaining $16-million balance.
  • Total project cost is $42.7 million.
  • In 2017, the Government of Alberta launched the province’s first Affordable Housing Strategy, including a $1.2-billion commitment to build affordable housing across the province.
  • The Government of Canada is currently rolling out its National Housing Strategy (NHS) – an ambitious 10-year, $40-billion plan that will create 100,000 new housing units and lift 530,000 families out of housing need, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.
  • The NHS is built on strong partnerships between federal, provincial and territorial governments, and on continuous engagement with others, including municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, and the social and private sectors, to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians.

Associated links

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. For more information, please visit cmhc.ca or follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit placetocallhome.ca.

The Government of Alberta ministry of Seniors and Housing fosters the development of affordable housing and supports access to housing options for Albertans most in need. The ministry works with seniors, Albertans who require housing supports, their families and caregivers, communities and other government partners. A more detailed description of the ministry and its programs and initiatives can be found at seniors-housing.gov.ab.ca.

Learn more about the Provincial Affordable Housing Strategy.

Editor’s Note: This news release was also issued by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation on Feb. 27, 2019.

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