Confusion over World Economic Forum planned for April

EDMONTON — With just over six weeks to go before Alberta is to host global leaders at a World Economic Forum event, there is confusion over whether it will go ahead.

EDMONTON — With just over six weeks to go before Alberta is to host global leaders at a World Economic Forum event, there is confusion over whether it will go ahead.

Cal Dallas, minister for Intergovernmental Affairs, said Monday that the gathering in Lake Louise could still go ahead as planned on April 24-25.

Or, he said, it might not.

“We’re not ruling out any possibilities,” Dallas said in response to reports the hotel in Lake Louise has already released the rooms and that the World Economic Forum is not advertising the event on its website.

There was no reply to an email sent to the organization requesting comment

The conference was billed as bringing together 100 leaders to talk about energy and environmental sustainability and to come up with suggestions to better inform future World Economic Forum discussions.

The original dates were announced on Jan. 21 by Premier Alison Redford during her visit to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Dallas said the dates are subject to change to make sure all the delegates who want to attend can be accommodated.

He said the timing is secondary to the event itself.

“This is really about the conversation that we want to facilitate in Alberta. It’s not about the date or the public sphere of this,” he said.

“The very high-level discussion requires that we work to dates that are appropriate for individuals that will participate in this.”

The Opposition Wildrose said the real story came to them from a high-level inside source.

“They informed us the reason why the conference was cancelled was because the premier’s office jumped the gun on announcing the details (in January) before they had been pinned down,” said Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith.

“There’s a protocol you have to follow when you’re dealing with these kinds of events. The proper protocol would have been to wait for the World Economic Forum.

“I think it was probably highly embarrassing for them (the Forum).”

Smith said her party’s source said forum officials cancelled the event in anger over the premature Alberta news release.

Dallas dismissed those suggestions and said his department continues to work with the World Economic Forum on the conference.

Liberal Leader Raj Sherman said Redford is embarrassing not just herself, but the whole province.

“Premier Redford again has hurt Alberta’s credibility on the international stage,” said Sherman.

Smith agreed.

“The premier has lots of staff, lots of communications people. It seems pretty perplexing that she would give us a black eye like this. It’s pretty unprofessional.”

The World Economic Forum, with headquarters in Geneva, bills itself as a non-partisan global organization bringing together top minds to improve the state of society.

While at the forum’s annual meeting in Switzerland in January, Redford said she was able to sit in on a debate on sustainable energy involving former U.S. vice-president Al Gore — a high-profile critic of oilsands pollution.

Redford later said she managed to talk to Gore, and they agreed to disagree on points about climate change and what Alberta is doing to eradicate it.

Just Posted

Red Deer County woman seeks a living kidney donor

Merrill Kean has only 7 per cent of her kidney function left

‘I’m really happy:’ Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

EDMONTON — The last legal restrictions on Omar Khadr were lifted Monday… Continue reading

Decision time is coming for Red Deer-area canola farmers

China still refuses to purchase Canadian canola

Lacombe County offers farm vehicle safety checks

Checks will take place April 10-11 at remote public works shops in east and west ends of county

Eckville man facing about 80 child sexual exploitation charges in court

More than half a million photos and videos found on electronic devices

Svechnikov scores in overtime, Carolina beats Montreal 2-1

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes struggled to beat Montreal goaltender Carey… Continue reading

Canadian men’s soccer squad off to Gold Cup with 4-1 win over French Guiana

VANCOUER, B.C. — Canada’s men’s soccer team is looking to the future… Continue reading

Inquest into fatal Radiohead stage collapse set to get underway in Toronto

TORONTO — An inquest is set to get underway today into the… Continue reading

The Latest: Streisand apologizes for Jackson comments

NEW YORK — The Latest on Barbra Streisand’s comments about the sexual… Continue reading

Pricey Titanic wreck tours hope to bring new life to a century-old story

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Adventure tourists with money in the bank have… Continue reading

France investigates after older protester is injured in Nice

NICE, France — French authorities are investigating the case of an older… Continue reading

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s… Continue reading

New report details impact of proposed NS spaceport in event of explosion or fire

HALIFAX — The head of a company proposing to open Canada’s only… Continue reading

Most Read