EDMONTON, AB: Testimony at the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund committee has revealed that while the NDP government pushed ahead with significant changes to the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), those changes were made without consultation with or the blessing of AIMCo’s CEO, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
A cabinet order by the NDP government in February of 2017 repealed sections 5 and 6 of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation Regulation, allowing for unqualified individuals to be placed onto the AIMCo board and in charge of over $90 billion in assets. During testimony at the committee last night, AIMCo chair Kevin Uebelein stated that “these recent changes to the AIMCo regulation actually did come as a surprise to us and, frankly, not a welcome surprise.”
“It’s no surprise that, once again, the NDP government put ideology over common sense and failed to consult with experts,” Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said. “There are real life implications with the NDP government’s meddling in AIMCo, and the ones to pay the price will be Albertans.”
While directors to the AIMCo board previously had to have significant experience in investment management, finance, accounting or law, the cabinet order now allows for these to be patronage appointments to NDP friends with no financial experience.
“The Heritage Fund should be bigger and more important than any one political party, but instead the NDP government is playing politics,” Wildrose Bonnyville–Cold Lake MLA Scott Cyr said. “The serious concerns raised by the AIMCo CEO about this change should raise alarm bells for all Albertans. This cabinet order needs to be reversed to protect the future prosperity of our assets.”