NEWS

My Reaction to Alberta’s 2017 Budget

Posted March 17th, 2017 in blog by Doug Black

I have reviewed Alberta’s budget carefully. I recognize that choices need to be made. I am deeply concerned by the lack of focus and financial support being given to the exciting innovation prospects being developed in Alberta.

As you know, I’m co-leading an initiative called Alberta 2.0 which is endeavouring to focus our strengths in Clean Tech Energy, Agri-food, and Healthcare in order to diversify our economy. We need to get off the rollercoaster of oil and gas revenues.

In order for innovation to be successful, the government needs to an active supporter in this initiative. While tremendous work and leadership are being provided by government, I believe that Budget 2017 missed an opportunity to provide additional monies to Alberta Innovates to allow them to do the work that needs to be done to foster the diversification of our economy.

PRESS RELEASE: Senator Doug Black to strengthen relationships with economic and energy US lawmakers

Posted February 27th, 2017 in blog by Doug Black

Senator Doug Black to strengthen relationships with economic and energy US lawmakers

Senator Doug Black will travel to Washington, D.C. February 28 to March 3 to highlight Alberta’s contribution to the North American Economy.

“Now, more than ever, we must do everything possible to ensure Canada’s energy industry can prosper.  Albertans are eager to see their representatives engage quickly with the new US Administration and Members of Congress. The success of Alberta and the North American energy market rely on nurturing this relationship.”

  -Senator Doug Black

As a Member of the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in addition to his previous background on the energy file, Senator Black’s voice can be very helpful.

We are pleased to see that Alberta’s interest will be represented by all levels of Government, as Premier Rachel Notley is visiting Washington this week as well.

While in Washington, Senator Black will meet with Members of Congress as well as Ambassador David McNaughton to promote the impact of Alberta’s contribution to the continental economy with particular attention on the oil and gas sectors.

Quick facts

  • Two-way trade between Alberta and the U.S. totalled more than $84.4 billion in 2016.
  • $68 billion worth of goods was exported from Alberta to the U.S in 2016.
  • That same year, Alberta imports from the U.S. totalled $16.4 billion – approximately two thirds of Alberta’s total international imports.
  • Alberta and the U.S. have strong ties across a variety of sectors, including energy, agriculture, forestry and manufacturing.

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For more information, please contact:

Patrick Cousineau, Director

Office of The Honourable Doug Black, Q.C.

+1 613-996-8957 | 1-800-267-7362

patrick.cousineau@sen.parl.gc.ca

News release: Gov. seems poised to adopt Senate internal trade recommendations

Posted February 1st, 2017 in blog by Doug Black

Ottawa, January 31, 2017 – Senators welcomed news that the federal government is close to reaching an agreement on internal barriers to trade after the Senate committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce report made recommendations to address this multi-billion dollar problem.

Media reports suggest an agreement has emerged between the federal and provincial governments to reduce or eliminate a number of long-standing irritants that have stunted Canada’s economic prosperity. Experts believe eliminating internal barriers could add between $50 billion and $130 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product.

The Committee released a report in June 2016, Tear Down These Walls: Dismantling Canada’s Internal Trade Barriers, which states that Canada’s international free trade agreements make it easier for foreign businesses to trade with Canada than for Canadian businesses to trade across provincial or territorial boundaries.

Senators also believe facilitating internal trade will provide a measure of insurance for the Canadian economy in view of potential changes to Canada’s trading relationship with the United States — our largest trading partner.

This agreement is particularly timely; the committee is currently studying the feasibility of a national corridor that would, among other things, facilitate the transfer of goods across Canada.

It remains to be seen how comprehensive the agreement will turn out to be. Senators want to know whether the agreement will cover long-standing problems with interprovincial wine transportation, for instance — like the recent case of a New Brunswick man who was charged under the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act after police found him bringing liquor and cases of beer into the province from Quebec.

The committee, however, is hopeful that the comprehensive agreement will be wider reaching than just the wine sector; senators are hopeful it will cover other sectors, such as energy, financial services and agriculture.

The committee will closely review details of the agreement when it is announced.

Quotes

“We are relieved that the federal government has finally decided to act. The question is, will this new agreement be sufficient to take advantage of the vast, untapped economic potential of internal trade? My colleagues and I look forward to finding out.”

– Senator David Tkachuk, Chair of the committee.

“Our report is yet another example of how the Senate can contribute to important changes in public policy. I am pleased the federal and provincial governments appear to be taking steps toward the elimination of internal barriers to trade and I urge them to continue this important work.”

– Senator Joseph A. Day, Deputy Chair of the committee.

Associated Links

  • Follow the committee on social media using the hashtag #BANC.

 

For more information, please contact:

Sonia Noreau

Media Relations Coordinator

Senate of Canada

613-614-1180

sonia.noreau@sen.parl.gc.ca

Senate Nomination Anniversary

Posted January 25th, 2017 in blog by Doug Black

Today marks my four year anniversary since being nominated to serve in Canada’s Senate. I am proud to say I received my nomination from over 430,000 Albertans in our 2012 Senator-in-waiting race. It’s a tremendous privilege to be an elected-Senator and I look forward to continuing my work on ensuring we expand Canada’s energy markets, diversifying Alberta’s economy, supporting the arts, and modernizing the Senate. A lot has changed since I was nominated but I remain confident as ever in the promise of Alberta and Canada.

Year End Report – Alberta 2.0 First Steps to a New Alberta

Posted December 21st, 2016 in blog, Committee, Newsletter, Report by Doug Black

I am happy to have the opportunity to report to Albertans on my activities on your behalf during the fall of this year.

Thankfully 2016 is ending on a stronger footing than when it started. Since my last newsletter to you in June, we have seen a slow increase in the price of oil and some companies are beginning to re-invest in Alberta’s energy sector. We have also seen recovery efforts getting underway in Fort McMurray. While I am cautiously optimistic about our prospects, there is still much work to do. We still need international market access for our energy resources and a more resilient and diversified economy.  This is why pipelines and my Alberta 2.0 initiative, which focuses on broadening our economy, have been my priorities this year.

On pipelines – I proposed and actively participated in a comprehensive study by the Senate Transport and Communications Committee on a strategy to build pipelines to our coasts. Our report made seven recommendations, in the areas of the National Energy Board, Indigenous Engagement and funding for the Canadian Coast Guard. Check out our report to get the full details.

I am proud of this work.

I am pleased with the Government’s decisions on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion and Enbridge’s Line 3 expansion. I was disappointed with the Gateway decision. The issue of market access to China and India for the very large oil carriers still remains unresolved. With the Federal Government’s moratorium on B.C.’s north coast, Energy East, from Alberta to New Brunswick, is now our best bet for solving this problem. I continue my advocacy on this file having recently given a speech on the need for Energy East in the Senate.

In early 2016 I decided to bring together leading Albertans to develop focused roadmaps on how to diversify Alberta’s economy – to become more resilient and robust. I partnered with the Dean of Business at the University of Alberta, Joe Doucet, and together we set out to build a network of knowledgeable and concerned Albertans. We call our initiative Alberta 2.0. About 60 of us met in Edmonton to develop our working plans. Click here to obtain a copy of Alberta 2.0 – First Steps to a New Alberta.

To advance our work Alberta 2.0 has partnered with Alberta Innovates – the agency of Government charged with ensuring Alberta builds on our strengths through innovation. We have begun work with Alberta Innovates to build Innovation Maps for the industry areas that Alberta 2.0 identified – clean tech, agri-business, and healthcare.

We hope to have implementation plans for these sectors for consideration by the last half of 2017.

I am so grateful to Dean Doucet, all Alberta 2.0 participants, and Alberta Innovates for the work done to date.

Since my last update, I traveled extensively in Alberta sharing my priorities with citizens, media, and speaking to various groups. I have visited Grande Prairie, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Olds, Calgary, Lethbridge, and Canmore. In every community I visited community and political leaders to discuss the issues in their communities and how I might be able to help. I was particularly happy to visit Fort McMurray to offer my support to this wonderful community.

I have also been active in the Senate. I have delivered four statements on matters of concern to Albertans and have asked numerous questions of Government Ministers on issues that matter to us.

I participated in the Senate Banking Committee’s studies of the need for interprovincial trade in Canada and a study on the importance of modernizing the Copyright Board. At the Banking Committee we continue to study the interesting prospect of the development of a northern utility and rail corridor for Canada.

I also had the privilege of sponsoring, successfully, in the Senate legislation on trade facilitation ensuring Canada’s obligations to the World Trade Organization, enhancing trade, can be enshrined.

In the New Year I look forward to rejoining the Senate Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Having finished my work on the pipeline study I will no longer be sitting on the Transport and Communications Committee. I will continue to sit on the Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee where I am excited to continue the important work focusing on ensuring that trade and commerce in Canada are advanced.

Thank you for all your support during the year. Have a happy and peaceful holiday.