Alberta NDP appoints task force to advise on green tech investments

In a post on his Twitter account, Minister Bilous commented on an expansion: "[It] means new jobs for Albertans & leads the way in protecting the environment @Lafarge_Canada #ableg". Credit: Twitter/Deron Bilous

CALGARY – Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous says a task force appointed to advise the Alberta government on climate technology investments is being given an open-ended mandate with no limits on size or type of proposals to be considered.

The five-member panel is to hold public meetings in four Alberta cities in October and present a report to Bilous in November with ideas on where to spend the province’s new carbon levy scheduled to be imposed Jan. 1. Albertans are also encouraged to send their ideas for investments in emails to the task force.

“Alberta, along with every jurisdiction in the world, is in a race for technology and innovation,” Bilous said. “Our advantage as an energy leader, and the government’s action on the Climate Leadership Plan, means that we are uniquely positioned to lead on clean energy and technology – creating jobs and a more resilient, diversified economy for generations. This task force will help us do just that.”

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READ MORE: Alberta NDP adding $5 million in funding for tech companies 

The carbon levy, approved in the legislature in June, is expected to bring in $3 billion in fiscal 2017-18. The government has promised the proceeds will be used entirely for initiatives to help
Alberta become more environmentally friendly.

Last week, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said some carbon levy funds would be used to encourage the building of 5,000 megawatts of green power in Alberta by 2030 as it phases out coal plants. The green projects are estimated to cost about $10.5 billion to build.

READ MORE: How will Alberta’s carbon tax impact consumers? 

The new task force will be chaired by former Suncor Energy executive Gordon Lambert, who recently served on Alberta’s Climate Change Advisory Panel.

It will also include University of Alberta researcher Vic Adamowicz, First Nations business adviser Shelly Vermillion, Imaginea Energy CEO Suzanne West, and Sara Hastings-Simon with the Pembina Institute environmental think-tank.

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