The province is establishing an Oil Sands Advisory Group (OSAG) composed of members from industry, environmental organizations, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to advise government on the oil-sands aspects of its Climate Leadership Plan and ensure that its initiatives are effective and widely supported.
On the advice of leaders from industry and leading environmental organizations, government committed to legislate an overall annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limit of 100 megatonnes for oil sands production, with allowances for new upgrading and co-generation.
The OSAG will be led by three co-chairs and supported by 15 plenary members. It will report to government with advice in three important areas:
- Implementing the legislated annual GHG emission limit
- Best investments in innovation to reduce GHG emissions intensity in oil sands production
- Developing durable, effective structures and processes to address local and regional environmental issues (i.e., air, land, water, biodiversity, cumulative effects)
Plenary members will serve for 24 months and the government expects the advisory group will convene in the next few weeks and deliver advice on the first issue area in six months.
The group will also develop a recommendation on an advisory project it would undertake on a pathway to 2050, including responding to federal and other initiatives that may affect the oil sands after 2030.
The OSAG members will engage with their sectors more broadly to ensure a full range of views in all discussions. A plan to engage the public on these important issues, particularly in oil sands producing areas, is also being developed.
“The advisory group will help our government address central issues on this key Alberta job creator and economic driver: how to establish and sustain Alberta’s climate leadership among energy-producing jurisdictions; how to better steward our air, land and water; and how to take advantage of current and future market opportunities while meeting the needs of indigenous and non-indigenous communities.”
“The simple fact is Alberta can’t let its emissions grow without limit, but we can grow our economy and our market by showing leadership, including reducing our carbon output per barrel.”
“Alberta’s oil sands operators look forward to participating in this group to give the government the best possible advice to address key oil sands issues and opportunities. It is the diversity of this group and its problem-solving focus on emissions leadership, local environmental performance and innovation that will help de-escalate conflict and contribute to the ongoing success of this important industry.”
“This is a pivotal moment for Alberta and Canada as we chart a pathway to address cumulative impacts in the oilsands, implement new climate plans and develop a strong low carbon economy. I am honoured to be appointed as Co-Chair to this advisory group and looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and developing workable solutions to be leaders at home and on the world stage.”
“I look forward to co-chairing the OSAG – ensuring that the wisdom of all communities is reflected in our advice and that Indigenous knowledge and values are meaningfully included. I believe we can reach a unified vision on Alberta’s climate change objectives for the oil sands.”
On Nov. 22, 2015, the Government of Alberta announced a historic new strategy on climate change based on recommendations put forward by the Climate Change Advisory Panel.
The Climate Leadership Plan will set a better course for our economic future and for a sustainable Alberta. Government has stepped up, at long last, to face one of the world’s biggest problems and one of our energy economy’s clearest challenges.
Advisory group members
The Oil Sands Advisory Group is led by three co-chairs and supported by 15 plenary members.
Co-Chair – Industry
David Collyer is currently a business consultant and serves on corporate and not-for-profit boards.
Mr. Collyer retired in December 2014 as President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), a position he held from September 2008. He was responsible for leading CAPP’s activities in education, communications and policy / regulatory advocacy on behalf of its members representing over 90% of the upstream petroleum production in Canada.
Previously Mr. Collyer was President and Country Chair for Shell in Canada, capping a 30-year career with a broad range of technical, business, marketing and senior leadership roles in the oil and gas industry.
Co-Chair – ENGOs
Tzeporah Berman has been designing environmental campaigns and working on environmental policy in Canada and beyond for over twenty years.
She is an Adjunct Professor of York University Faculty of Environmental Studies and works as a strategic advisor to a number of First Nations, environmental organizations and philanthropic foundations on climate and energy issues. She is the former co-director of Greenpeace International’s Global Climate and Energy Program and Co-founder of ForestEthics.
Co-Chair – Communities
Melody Lepine is a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and has worked for the First Nation for 16 years, currently as Director of Government and Industry Relations.
Melody has made her home in Northeastern Alberta for the past 40 years and has proven herself as highly effective in representing the interests of individuals and communities in consultations with both industry and government.
She is a current member of the Alberta Environment and Park’s Traditional Ecological Knowledge Advisory Panel and board member of the Cumulative Environmental Management Association.
Veronica Bliska is the Reeve of the Municipal District of Peace and has served her community as Reeve since 2007 and as a Councillor for nine years prior to that. Veronica is also currently Chair of the Northern Alberta Elected Leaders, Chair of Peace Library System (one of the seven systems in the province) and a Director on the Northern Transportation Advisory Alliance.
Much of Veronica’s work has been in land use planning, including 15 years on the executive of the Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency, working on the provincial land use framework and as a board member of the Community Planning Association of Alberta. Veronica and her husband Don operate a grain farm located in the Peace Region north east of the Town of Grimshaw.
William R. (Bill) Clapperton
Bill Clapperton is Vice President – Regulatory, Stakeholder and Environmental Affairs of Canadian Natural Resource Ltd. He has been an Officer of the company since January 2002 and was previously the company’s Manager, Surface Land and Environment.
Anne Downey is Vice President of Operations for Statoil Canada and responsible for resource development and continuous operations for the Leismer Asset and associated facilities.
Anne joined Statoil in 2009 as Director of Operations for Leismer, bringing her previous industry experience with mine and exploitation from her work with Gulf Canada and Petro-Canada.
Simon Dyer is Pembina Institute’s associate regional director for Alberta and former director of the Institute’s oilsands program. A registered professional biologist, Simon has worked on natural resource management issues in western Canada since 1999.
In 2013 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work to support environmentally responsible energy development in Alberta and Canada.
Tim Gray is Executive Director of Environmental Defence. As Program Director for the Ivey Foundation, Tim helped lead the negotiation and implementation of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, a collaboration of 21 forest companies and nine environmental organizations, covering 76 million hectares of public land.
Tim previously worked as National Conservation Director of Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, a project manager for WWF Central America and Executive Director of CPAWS-Wildlands League.
Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom
Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom is Chief of the Woodland Cree First Nation, with a population of 1,300 people, 700 of whom live on the Reserve at Cadotte Lake.
Chief Isaac just completed a one-year term as Deputy Grand Chief, Treaty 8. He served a three-year term as a Councillor for Woodland Cree First Nation before being elected as Chief. Chief Isaac is also a journeyman millwright.
Bill Loutitt is Vice President, Fort McMurray Métis Local 1935. He is also President of Nistawoyou Friendship Centre and former President of Metis Nation of Alberta Region One where he was elected Treasurer of Metis Nation of Alberta and held the portfolio of Environment and Resource Development.
Bill also helped develop and was elected as the Metis Representative on the Athabasca Watershed Council and also served on the Board of Directors of Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA).
Bill is currently contemplating retirement after 26 years with TransCanada Pipelines as an Electrical, Instrumentation and Controls Technician and 15 years of underground mining in Uranium City, Yellowknife, Whitehorse and various mines in northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Karen Mahon joined STAND (formerly ForestEthics Advocacy) as its Canadian Director in March of 2015. Karen was previously a Managing Director of Greenpeace Canada and Public Outreach USA.
Jon Mitchell is Vice-President, Environment & Sustainability at Cenovus Energy and is responsible for leading a team that provides strategic advice, guidance and support to Cenovus on key environment and sustainability issues.
His team works with the leadership of the company to integrate sustainability issues into the strategic planning process and identify areas where Cenovus has an opportunity to develop an innovative program or new approach to an issue that will help improve performance and advance a progressive approach to resource development.
Jon joined Cenovus’s predecessor company in 2004 and has worked in the fields of sustainable development; environment, health and safety management systems; stakeholder engagement; land use planning; species at risk; and greenhouse gas management for nearly 20 years.
Alison Ronson is Executive Director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Northern Alberta Chapter. Prior to working with CPAWS, Alison was a lawyer in a full-service law firm in Toronto, where she was an associate in the Business Law, and the Banking, Finance and Insolvency Group.
Kevin Scoble is the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and previously served Wood Buffalo as Executive Director, Infrastructure and Engineering and Director of Environmental Services. Kevin’s experience builds on three years as Suncor’s Senior Manager, Environmental Affairs and Industrial Hygiene and two years as a manager with the City of Medicine Hat.
Christa Seaman is Emerging Regulatory Policy Issue Advisor at Shell Canada which she first joined in 2010 as a Regulatory Issue Advisor in Climate Change and Hydraulic Fracturing. Her previous private sector experience includes two years working in climate change with Canadian Natural Resources Limited.
Mr. Richard F. Sendall has been Senior Vice President of Strategy and Government Relations at MEG Energy Corp. since November 2011. Mr. Sendall previously served the company as Vice President of Business & Strategic Planning and Vice President of Regulatory and Public Affairs. Mr. Sendall’s 31 years of oil sand development experience also include as Director, Heavy Oil Technology at Suncor and work with Petro-Canada, Dome Petroleum Limited and Amoco Canada.
Arlene Strom is the Vice President Sustainability & Communications at Suncor Energy Inc., a position she has held since 2013. She is responsible for Stakeholder and Aboriginal relations, reputation and brand, communications and issues management. She is also responsible for Suncor’s sustainability and outreach strategy, climate change strategy, environmental excellence support and for the management of the Suncor Energy Foundation.
Lloyd Visser is Vice President, Environment and Sustainable Development at ConocoPhillips Canada and joined Gulf Canada 16 years ago prior to its acquisition by ConocoPhillips. Lloyd previously served the company as General Manager, Environment and Stakeholder Engagement.