Status: Bill 14 received royal assent on October 30, 2019
Ministry responsible: Indigenous Relations

Overview

Bill 14: the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation Act has passed to increase Indigenous communities’ access to capital and technical support to invest in natural resource projects and related infrastructure.

Increasing the ability for Indigenous groups to invest in our province will help them become partners in prosperity. Communities will have the chance to develop new income streams that could be used to develop community-level programs and services.

Key changes

Bill 14 will create the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) – a first-of-its-kind in Canada – and set out its mandate.

As this Crown corporation will operate at an arm’s-length from government, the act will also:

Establish a governance structure

Board of directors

The act proposes a board of directors of up to 9 members that will:

  • manage and supervise the AIOC’s business and affairs
  • ensure the AIOC meets its mandate to facilitate investment by Indigenous groups

Government oversight

To keep a reasonable level of oversight, the Government of Alberta will:

  • appoint a deputy minister observer to sit as a non-voting member on the board of directors
  • allow the minister of Indigenous Relations to issue directives
  • require reports be submitted to the minister of Indigenous Relations for the purpose of reviewing the AIOC

A Ministerial Advisory Committee was established in September 2019 to help shape the direction of the AIOC until a board of directors is appointed.

Define eligibility

The act will define the following groups as eligible for AIOC support:

  • Indigenous groups, as defined by the Indian Act
  • Metis Settlements as established by the Metis Settlements Act
  • Métis groups as defined by regulation
  • other entities approved by the minister of Indigenous Relations as falling within the AIOC mandate
  • entities that are fully owned by the groups identified above

Describe allowable financial tools

The act will allow the AIOC to request approval to do any of the following:

  • issue loan guarantees
  • loan money or take on an existing loan of money
  • purchase shares or other forms of equity
  • enter into joint ventures or partnerships

Timeline

  • Summer 2019 – 8 roundtable discussions were held with nearly 200 leaders from Indigenous communities, the financial sector and natural resource development industries
  • September 20 – Recruitment opened for the board
  • September 25 – A Ministerial Advisory Committee was formed to provide advice on the design of the corporation
  • October 8 – Bill 14 introduced
  • October 15 – Bill 14 passed
  • October 30 – Bill 14 received royal assent

Next steps

Bill 14 will come into force upon proclamation, and the AIOC will be established with a permanent board in the coming months.

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