March 8, 2018 – With just over a year until Albertans go to the polls, Premier Rachel Notley’s Throne Speech today starts to set out the terms of debate for the May 2019 election campaign.


Today’s speech answered the question as to just how far the Notley government is willing to go in its effort to stop the obstruction of the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline – the Premier made a strong statement:


“Today, we affirm we will do whatever it takes. In the past when workers in our energy sector were attacked and when the resources we own were threatened, Premier Peter Lougheed took bold action. 


Your government has been clear: Every option is on the table. We will not hesitate to invoke similar legislation.”


With this pronouncement, expect the threat of Alberta turning off oil to BC will be the headlines coming out of this Throne Speech.


In addition to standing up for market access for Alberta’s resources, the government outlined other legislative priorities for the upcoming session, which focused on the theme of “diversification.” They include:


  • Diversifying the energy sector:
      • The first bill will support upgrading bitumen and embark on the second phase of petrochemical diversification.


  • Diversifying other sectors of the economy:
      • The second bill will introduce and expand new tax credits, including a new Digital Industries Tax Credit which will invest in education and make post-secondary and training more affordable.


  • Diversification of the electricity sector:
      • The third bill will focus on more renewable energy and the creation of a Capacity Market to level out the electricity prices within the province.


All in all, the theme for the upcoming session will be to break away from a boom-and-bust economy, to diversify and to do things differently.


The Throne Speech reminded Albertans about the choices the NDP government made during the downturn. Instead of cutting spending on the things families relied on, the government invested in health, education and infrastructure. The results, highlighted in the Speech, include 90,000 new full-time jobs in the last year and leading the Canadian economy in growth.


While the deficit is smaller than forecast, capital spending will be reduced in the upcoming provincial budget, scheduled to be tabled on March 22.


On a final note on pipelines: Next week, all MLAs will have an opportunity to debate and vote on a government tabled motion to show support for the Trans Mountain pipeline.


The motion reads:


BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Legislative Assembly support the Government of Alberta’s fight on behalf of Albertans interests to ensure the lawfully approved Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion is built;


AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Legislative Assembly call for the federal government to continue to take all necessary legal steps in support of the pipeline’s construction;


AND BE IT FURSTHER RESOLVED THAT the Legislative Assembly reaffirm its support for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion as a key component of Alberta’s energy future.”


While the opposition may attempt to amend the motion, it is unknown if the government will accept any changes.

For more information on what this means for your organization, please contact Brad Lavigne, at or 403.437.3801, or David Bieber, at or 604.880.6156.