A delegation of industry representatives, municipal leaders and First Nations will join Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips in Ottawa to share Alberta’s concerns regarding caribou recovery.
The Government of Alberta remains fully committed to recovering caribou populations, and is leading a delegation to Ottawa to request further support from the federal government to ensure caribou range planning protects northern communities and the industries that support them.
“Fully understanding social and economic impacts is a crucial part of developing a made-in-Alberta plan for achieving caribou recovery that works for the environment, the economy, the caribou and the people of Alberta. We’re going to Ottawa to stand up for Alberta’s values and interests.”
The Government of Alberta will provide an update on the status of caribou range planning, future work and required action, including funding. Other delegates representing industry, First Nations and municipalities will highlight challenges, concerns and opportunities and share their perspectives on the issue.
The federal government requires that Alberta develops plans and takes meaningful action to protect critical caribou habitat. Failure to do so could result in federal intrusion in provincial species management, which could strand resources, prevent future investment, and eliminate economic benefits and jobs. In order to meet these federal requirements, support from Ottawa is needed.
The province is seeking a federal contribution of $50 million over the next three years and an ongoing commitment for 40 years. This funding will be used to conduct social and economic assessments, build Indigenous capacity, and support restoration work and rearing facilities.
Alberta is also requesting flexibility on timelines to ensure the province has the time it needs to conduct meaningful Indigenous engagement and thorough socio-economic assessments.
Along with Minister Phillips and government officials, the delegation includes a broad and diverse group of representatives:
- Ramona Horseman, chief, Horse Lake First Nation
- Jason Ruecker, reeve, Clear Hills County
- Jim Rennie, mayor, Woodlands County
- Crystal McAteer, mayor, High Level
- Eric Jorgensen, councillor, Mackenzie County
- Paul Whittaker, Alberta Forest Products Association
- Wendy Crosina, Weyerhaeuser
- Brian McConkey, Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.
- Richard Dunn, Encana
- Ryder McRitchie, Jupiter Resources
- Bob Kerr, Imperial Oil
- Alberta released its Draft Provincial Woodland Caribou Range Plan in December 2017.
- Engagement on the draft provincial range plan occurred from January to March 2018. This included Indigenous workshops, public information sessions and Indigenous/Multi-stakeholder meetings. Meetings with Indigenous peoples and bilateral technical discussions with key stakeholders are ongoing.
- On March 18, 2018, the Government of Alberta sent a letter to the federal government that indicated the province would not proceed with some parts of range planning until a full socio-economic study, financially supported by the federal government, is conducted. The letter requested a partnership with the federal government in caribou recovery and a financial investment to meet federal recovery requirements. It also announced that a delegation of Albertans will travel to Ottawa to emphasize these points.