Letter: Letter to the Editor

Editor, the Gauntlet,

In light of the scandal besieging our province’s energy regulator, the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, one would think the provincial government would feel duty-bound to eliminate such antidemocratic practices. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Even in the face of scathing reports from the Privacy Commissioner and Justice Del Perras, a government press release lamely informs Albertans that the EUB is getting a new chair, and that this person will “implement changes.” Given the troubles at the EUB, that’s far too vague a mandate to reassure a public rapidly losing trust in its government.

The same press release happily announces that “recruitment is currently underway for the new chairs of the Energy Resources Conservation Board and Alberta Utilities Commission–the bodies that will replace the EUB under Bill 46, which is before the legislature.”

Though the press release treats the fact as a minor footnote, the legislature has not yet made Bill 46 law. In any functioning democracy, no government should take it for granted that a bill will pass before it is debated, especially a bill as contentious as this one. If passed, Bill 46 will, among other things, dramatically reduce the amount of public participation and consultation regarding future energy projects.

Acting as though the bill is already law is not only presumptuous of the Stelmach government, it shows the same blatant disregard and derision for the Legislature and democratic process which existed under former Premier Klein continue with the current administration. Democracy is not well in Alberta and what little consumer protection we have left in this province will be eroded further. After 36 years, we need a new chapter written.

Mo Elsalhy
MLA Edmonton-McClung
Alberta Liberal Shadow Minister for Service Alberta

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