Bill 22, The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act passed first reading in the Alberta legislature on June 11. The latest in Alberta’s environmental roll-backs, Bill 22 is a 14-point omnibus bill which eliminates the need for cabinet approval for oil and gas projects, and dissolves the Energy Efficiency Alberta agency, begun in 2017. Alberta’s Environment Minister has said it will be wound down by September and most staff re-assigned to the Emissions Reduction Alberta agency, which focuses on large-scale industry such as the oil and gas industry. The changes are summarized in an article in in The Energy Mix (June 14) and in The Globe and Mail . Efficiency Canada reacted with a critical press release on June 12, titled “Alberta cuts successful job-creation engine in the midst of recession” – which asserts that Energy Efficiency Alberta created more than 4,300 private-sector jobs between 2017 and 2019”. The Pembina Institute reaction also cites the job losses which will come from the decision, and states: “This move reinforces the negative image that the Government of Alberta was attempting to change when the EEA was installed as a major pillar of Alberta’s climate plan.”
The government justifies its decision in a blog which doesn’t mention the job creation success of the agency.