Alberta Governor General Donald Ethell delivered the Stelmach government's speech from the throne this afternoon. There were a number of highlights relating to energy and climate change matters, most of which were reaffirmations of the Government's existing strategy and plans. These included:
the Government considers it a priority to improve Alberta's linkages with Asia, particularly Japan, India, China and Korea
the Government believes that improving west coast port capacity (whether by pipeline or rail) to Asia is in Canada's interest. This is a show of support by the Government for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion and the Enbridge Gateway projects.
the Government continues to oppose the formation of a national securities regulator
streamlining of the oil and gas regulatory system (i.e. the creation of a single regulator) will continue
the Government remains committed to value-added upgrading, carbon capture and sequestration, and enhanced oil recovery
the Government is awaiting the report of the expert panel appointed to recommend on creating a world-class monitoring system for the oil sands area
the Government will continue to work towards achieving carbon dioxide reduction goals, in particular by continuing to promote commercial-scale carbon capture projects (the speech noted that 17 million tonnes of CO2 reductions have been achieved to date, and $186 million has been collected by the Climate Change Emissions Management Fund)
the use of wood fibre for renewable biofuels will be promoted
Next up for the Government is the release of the Budget, in which a $5 billion deficit is widely projected, on Thursday.