Terms of Reference overview

Alberta has a wealth of energy resources that have historically been the principle driver of Alberta’s economy and the source of good jobs in the energy sector for many Albertans. The Government of Alberta is committed to diversifying markets for energy products and advancing market access.

Limited pipeline infrastructure, combined with strong growth in North American oil and natural gas production has highlighted the need for Alberta to continue to encourage infrastructure expansion and access to new markets.

Several pipeline projects in Canada, such as the Trans Mountain expansion project and Northern Gateway, have been faced with opposition, regulatory uncertainty and legal delays that challenge Alberta’s market access efforts.

Since there is significant complexity and uncertainty in addressing Alberta’s oil and gas market access, the Alberta government needs to work closely with key experts and influencers to obtain advice for the best strategy to encourage market access for Alberta.

Mandate of the Task Force

The Task Force will be responsible for providing tangible advice to government for encouraging and promoting market access for Alberta’s oil and gas through pipelines to tidewater.

In addition, the Task Force will consider options for economic and trade responses to B.C.’s proposed restrictions and other attempts to frustrate progress on this important project.

Key representatives from industry will be engaged to work with the Alberta government to enable the timely exchange of information, provide advice on actions, test potential policy and advocacy mechanisms and prioritize engagement.

Members of the Task Force are required to fulfill the duties of their appointment in a professional, ethical and competent manner and avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest. Members of the Task Force will conduct themselves in accordance with these Terms of Reference.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The Task Force will undertake to:

  • consider any and all measures to ensure that all provinces respect their constitutional responsibilities
  • assess Alberta’s current national market access situation including pipeline and rail infrastructure, issues, opportunities, economic impacts, legal implications and relationships
  • openly share information and intelligence among Task Force members to ensure decisions are fully informed
  • provide recommendations to advance Alberta’s oil and gas market access though pipelines, rail or other means
  • provide advice for tangible market access promotion that Alberta could consider and act as an informed and confidential sounding-board to test Alberta government responses to market access issues
  • explore opportunities for government and industry to work jointly to advance Alberta’s oil and gas market access
  • provide legal advice to government on priorities and mechanisms to leverage efforts where engagement actions are being considered
  • prepare responses to market access decisions and policy changes in other provinces over which Alberta has limited influence

Committee membership

Proposed Task Force members were selected based on expertise related to fulfilling the Task Force mandate.

Ministers and staff

  • Premier Rachel Notley, Task Force Chair
  • Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade
  • Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy
  • Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks
  • Nathan Rotman, Chief of Staff, Office of the Premier

Deputy ministers and staff

  • Marcia Nelson, Deputy Minister, Executive Council
  • Ray Gilmour, Associate Deputy Minister, Executive Council
  • Eric Denhoff, Special Advisor
  • Phil Bryden, Deputy Minister, Justice and Solicitor General
  • Jason Krips, Deputy Minister, Economic Development and Trade
  • Corey Hogan, Deputy Minister, Communication and Public Engagement

Non-government members

  • Frank McKenna, O.C., Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group; former Premier of New Brunswick
  • Anne McLellan, O.C., former Deputy Prime Minister, former Minister of Natural Resources
  • Jim Carter, O.C., vice chair of the Board of the ATB Financial; chair of the Boards of ATB and Investor Services Companies; and former president and Chief Operating Officer of Syncrude Canada Ltd
  • Peter Hogg, Scholar in Residence, Blakes
  • Peter Tertzakian, Chief Economist and Managing Director, Arc Financial
  • Trevor Tombe, PhD and Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Calgary and a Research Fellow at the School of Public Policy
  • Ginny Flood,  vice-president, Government Relations, Suncor
  • Janet Annesley, vice-president, Husky