Ministers to talk energy strategy

Energy ministers meeting in picturesque Kananaskis next week won’t be enjoying a typical relaxing mountain getaway, but will rather try to lay the groundwork for a national approach to energy.

CALGARY — Energy ministers meeting in picturesque Kananaskis next week won’t be enjoying a typical relaxing mountain getaway, but will rather try to lay the groundwork for a national approach to energy.

While it’s in Canada’s interest to come up with a policy that will boost the value of its resources, it will be an “incredible challenge” to come up with a vision all provinces can get behind, said Andrew Leach, a business professor at the University of Alberta.

For instance, rules that benefit the oilsands may not have the same upside in Ontario they would in Alberta. A slice of employment and tax revenues may not cut it for those outside the oil-rich province.

“We’re going to want to share in the rest of it as well. And Alberta will have to make a decision about what’s worth it to them,” Leach said.

John Bennett, executive director of the environmental group Sierra Club of Canada, said the whole thrust of the Kananaskis meeting is flawed.

“What they’re saying is they’re talking about a national energy strategy, but they’re not. What they’re actually talking about is an export strategy,” he said.