Rally against proposed utilities legislation draws 350 in central Alberta

From Oil Week:

A groundswell of rural discontent appears to be building in Alberta over proposed legislation that landowners say would limit their ability to participate in utilities and energy hearings.

More than 350 people gathered in the central Alberta community of Lacombe on Wednesday night to discuss the potential impact of Bill 46, which is currently before the legislature.

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Bill 46 could limit landowners’ rights says councillor

Dunn concerned over AEUB bill

From the Sherwood Park News:

After a summer plagued with scandal at the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board over spying on landowners that eventually led to the disbandment of the security unit within the organization, Alberta’s regulatory authority is under fire again from citizens and special interest groups.

Bill 46, a piece of legislation introduced by energy minister Mel Knight in June, was originally created to help manage the increased workload currently faced by the AEUB. The Bill aims to split the body into two separate parts, the Energy Resources Conservation Board and the Alberta Utilities Commission.

But Strathcona County Ward six councillor Alan Dunn is concerned about the implications for residents anxiously awaiting an update on the proposed transmission lines needed to power the upgraders in the northern part of the county.

“The thing that stands out to me is that there seem to be some provisions that are basically muzzling people,” Dunn said. “In theory, this legislation could mean that they could run the lines right through without consulting us. You pretty much have to be living next door to the transmission lines to qualify as ‘directly or adversely affected.’”

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Kill Bill Campaign in the Red Deer Advocate Newspaper

From the Red Deer Advocate:

A campaign called Kill Bill 46 is urging Central Albertans to fight the so-called attempt to erode landowners’ rights.

Public meetings are being held across Alberta to talk about Bill 46 and urge people to contact their members of the legislature and Premier Ed Stelmach.

Here’s the rest of the story.

Opposition to take aim at energy bill as legislature resumes

From the CBC news:

Alberta MLAs return to work Monday for their fall session with the opposition vowing to turn up the heat over a proposed bill to split the province’s energy regulator into two bodies and to change the way public hearings are set up.

Bill 46, which would scrap the current Energy and Utilities Board and create two new entities, the Alberta Utilities Commission and the Energy Resources Conservation Board, is one of 26 bills up for debate during the month-long session.

Here’s the whole story.

Pembina Institute Calls for Changes to Bill 46 (Alberta Utilities Commission Act)

The Pembina Institute has issued a press release stating that Stelmach’s Bill 46 “needs major amendments to protect citizen’s rights to be heard.”