Alberta changing its U.S. representative, wants to move in different direction

Alberta’s new NDP government is changing its senior representative to the United States, saying it wants to move in a new direction.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s new NDP government is changing its senior representative to the United States, saying it wants to move in a new direction.

Former Conservative MP Rob Merrifield was to do the job until Sept. 16, 2018, but is to leave at the end of the month.

The government says a replacement for Merrifield, who was appointed last year by former premier Jim Prentice, would be named soon.

A spokeswoman for Premier Rachel Notley’s office says Merrifield has a contract that does not include severance.

Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier is to take over some of Merrifield’s work in the interim, including efforts to persuade Washington to repeal its meat labelling law known as COOL that has hurt Canada’s beef and pork industries.

In a written statement Notley thanks Merrifield for his public service.

“I would like to sincerely thank Rob Merrifield for all of his efforts advancing Alberta’s economic and policy interests with our largest trading partner,” Notley said Friday.

“This change will allow the government time to consider a new direction for the office, including the option of appointing a representative with a background as a professional diplomat.”

Notley noted that Alberta’s exports to the U.S. totalled $109.6 billion last year.

She said strong relations with the U.S. will play an important role in growing and diversifying Alberta’s economy.

When Merrifield was appointed to the Washington job he agreed to donate to charity part of his MP pension while he worked for the province, to allay any concerns about double dipping.

Merrifield’s Alberta salary is $243,000 per year.

Just Posted

Police say a woman in the Red Deer area may be in danger

Public’s assistance is urgently requested

Cannabis legalization won’t impact one Red Deer pot dispensary

Nothing changes for Compass Cannabis Clinic in Red Deer despite legalization

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

B.C. man accused of swimming naked in Toronto shark tank arrested in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Police have arrested a B.C. man who is… Continue reading

Most Read