Sask. offers refuge for Alta. energy companies after NDP win
Saskatchewan's Minister of Trade, Jeremy Harrison, said the province would be happy to welcome investment from Alberta's disgruntled energy companies.
Michelle Zilio, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, May 10, 2015 3:49PM EDT
The government of Saskatchewan is hoping the province will benefit from Alberta's recent election shocker.
Saskatchewan's Minister for Immigration, Jobs, Skills and Training Jeremy Harrison said his province will welcome investment from Alberta's energy sector, amidst fear of potential corporate tax increases and a review of Alberta’s royalty regime.
"There's uncertainty in Alberta right now with respect to the royalty review that the new government has promised," said Harrison. "We've seen CEOs of companies publicly say that they're looking at reallocating their capital expenditure budget this year."
During the recent election campaign, Alberta Premier-Designate Rachel Notley vowed her New Democratic Party would review the royalty structure for the energy sector and raise corporate taxes.
Harrison said the last time the regulations were changed in 2009, Saskatchewan saw a "significant increase" in investment from Alberta energy companies.
"Will that happen again? It remains to be seen but we definitely welcome investment from Alberta, particularly the energy sector. And we have a very stable royalty regime in place here that's going to remain in place and investments can be made with surety that that's going to be the case," said Harrison.
Notley has been trying to calm fears about potential changes in the province's industry sectors since her election last week. She has not said when exactly a royalty review would take place.
"I'll have more to say about that in the coming weeks and months. But I can say this, what we do will be done openly, transparently and collaboratively with key players in the business community," Notley told CTV News.
The premier-designate said she has already been talking with some business leaders to let them know they will have a role moving forward, emphasizing the "diversification" of Alberta’s economy and "good, long term sustainable jobs."
Incoming Official Opposition Leader Brian Jean of the Wildrose Party said it's important the government communicate with the energy sector and ensure it is comfortable with the royalty regime.
"I think it's important to make sure that the people who are investing in your economy feel confident with the structures whether they be regulatory or royalty structures," Jean told CTV's Question Period.