Provinces names panel to advise government on economic strategy

Alberta has struck a 12-member panel, including former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge, to help guide the future of the energy-rich province that is prone to wild economic swings.

Alberta has struck a 12-member panel, including former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge, to help guide the future of the energy-rich province that is prone to wild economic swings.

The panel chairman is David Emerson, whose career as a federal politician was also a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Emerson was first elected as a Liberal, but later crossed the floor to join the Conservatives.

The panel also includes former Liberal deputy prime minister Anne McLellan and former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge.

“The people we’ve got on the committee are spread around the world and so the logistics of face-to-face meetings will be difficult,” Emerson told a news conference Thursday.

“We’re going to develop an electronic capability so that we that we can interact essentially in real time.”

Premier Ed Stelmach said he wants the board to act as a think-tank and give the province advice on how to diversify the economy and ensure long-term prosperity.

The panel will look at what major forces will shape the world and Alberta over the next 30 years, said the premier.

“There’s no doubt about it that with some of the ever changing issues with respect to climate change and different forms of energy that now is the time to put together a group of very eminent people to give us the long-term advice,” said Stelmach.

He says the panel will also look at how other governments are dealing with such challenges.

Other panel members include Jim Gray, a former oilpatch executive who is now chairman of the Canada West Foundation; Elyse Allan, president and CEO of GE Canada; Jennifer Welsh, professor of international relations at Oxford University and former Alberta cabinet minister Lorne Taylor.

The council will meet every six months over its three-year mandate and provide its recommendation to Stelmach.

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