Posted on Aug 12, 2016

Leg talks energy lawsuit, violence

One of the pleasures of the Edmonton Folk Festival is running into Sherwood Park residents on the hill or during my volunteer shifts. This year the festival benefitted from great weather, not to mention a wide variety of musical acts programmed both for the listening pleasures of older folkies like myself and a younger audience.  

In Sherwood Park every Wednesday we can recreate the atmosphere of sitting on the Folk Fest Festival Hill by attending the Patio Series at Festival Place.   This popular series has introduced me to musicians and their CDs have since become part of my musical library.   If anyone has not experienced Festival Place Patio Series, the tickets are only $8.

Many Sherwood Park residents are interested in developments regarding the Energy East pipeline project.   The National Energy Board began public panel sessions this week, visiting communities along the proposed pipeline route. It is critical that First Nations and all Canadians get to raise their concerns in person and have those concerns addressed. I had the opportunity last week to meet with legislators from Ontario and Québec to discuss the importance of this project to Alberta. A carefully regulated and monitored pipeline is the safest, most efficient way to get our energy resources to tidewater. Pipelines create thousands of well-paying jobs (including many in Sherwood Park) and limit the amount of foreign oil Canada imports.

Last week the government took legal action against Enmax, the Balancing Pool and the Alberta Utilities Commission in order to protect Albertans from unfair electricity-related charges. This arises out of a regulatory “Enron clause” that was secretly and unlawfully enacted when the province’s electricity system was deregulated.   Electricity prices are at historic lows in Alberta. This has created financial challenges for the power companies that were successful bidders on a higher cost Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA). PPA buyers made an estimated $10 billion dollars through the PPAs since they were created earning their initials investments many times over.   Now when power prices are low, companies are relying on the Enron clause to hand off now-unprofitable PPs and leave consumers with the bill. This clause was not included during extensive consultations and open public hearings and was kept secret. For residents interested in more information on this issue, the Saturday August 6 Globe and Mail carried a column by Justin Giovannetti and Jeffrey Jones titled Emails reveal how Alberta’s ‘Enron clause’ was Orchestrated that documented the issue. You can also go

http://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=43169659B6731-B058-7694-A973BCA1DAFD535D.

 This week, the regulations for Bill 204: Residential Tenancies (Safer Spaces for Victims of Domestic Violence) Amendment Act, 2015 were announced. This bill allows someone fleeing from domestic abuse to leave rented housing without incurring financial penalties.   For information on the regulations, please contact my office or go to http://www.alberta.ca/safer-spaces-certificate.aspx.