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Page added on February 25, 2011

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Alberta to better integrate oil and gas policy and regulatory system

Coordinated policy development and an integrated regulatory system for upstream oil and gas are just a few highlights of a report from the task force established to review Alberta’s regulatory system.

The task force report and recommendations include:

  • establishing a new Policy Management Office and ensuring integration of natural resource policies;
  • creating a single oil and gas regulatory body;
  • providing clear public engagement processes;
  • using a common approach to risk assessment and management;
  • adopting performance measures to enable continuous system improvement; and
  • creating a mechanism to help resolve disputes between landowners and companies, and enforce agreements where required.

The review included analyses of all processes in place to develop and ensure compliance with provincial policies around upstream oil and gas development, and extensive engagement of First Nations, the oil and gas industry, and individuals from landowner, municipal, and environmental groups. Between March 31 and Oct. 1, 2010 the task force hosted three rounds of engagement through a series of briefings, meetings, workshops and a forum.

The task force was established in March 2010 to lead a comprehensive upstream oil and gas regulatory review and make recommendations to ensure Alberta has a modern, efficient, outcomes-based and competitive regulatory system that maintains the province’s strong commitment to environmental management, public safety and resource conservation. The report and supporting documents are available at

Moving forward, our government remains focused on ensuring that Alberta has the most innovative and competitive economy in Canada. This means taking steps to encourage productivity, grow our markets and develop new ones. The recommended changes to the upstream oil and gas regulatory system will further this goal by improving this sector’s overall competitiveness. Together with Albertans, we will continue taking steps to put our province in a position to reach its full potential. For more information, please visit

Alberta launches province-wide meningitis immunization program

A province-wide immunization program was launched Feb. 1 to protect adolescents from meningococcal disease.

The $2-million immunization program will provide the meningococcal conjugate vaccine to up to 40,000 students in Grade 9 through school-based clinics. The vaccine will protect against four different strains of meningococcal disease and will become part of the annual immunization program offered to Alberta adolescents.

The risk of spreading meningococcal disease increases during adolescence through the sharing of food, drinks, lipstick, lip balm, drinking straws, cigarettes and water bottles. This bacterium is spread through the saliva and is present in the nose and throat.

The school-based meningococcal immunization program is expected to result in high numbers of students completing the immunization. In Alberta, the Grade 9 diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis immunization program has shown successful results with more than 90 per cent of the students being immunized.

More information on the invasive meningococcal disease and the vaccine can be found at

Becoming the Best: Alberta’s 5-Year Health Action Plan provides Albertans with clear direction on what they can expect from their health care system over the next five years. This plan, along with stable and predictable funding, will ensure that we are able to provide the right care, in the place and at the right time now and in the future.  A copy of the plan is available at

Partnership improves access to local weight-loss care

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is collaborating with the St. Albert and Sturgeon Primary Care Network (PCN) to improve access to services for people wanting to lose weight and make healthy lifestyle changes.

More than 170 patients have received AHS weight management support at the PCN since 2009. This was when local health providers established a partnership with Weight Wise, an Edmonton-based AHS program that addresses issues of obesity and works to reduce the incidence of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. As a result, St. Albert and area residents can access care for these chronic conditions in a timely manner close to home.

The St. Albert and Sturgeon PCN offers the entire Weight Wise suite of eight classroom modules and the Craving Change workshop, which cover topics such as nutrition, diet, exercise, lifestyle and managing stress. A dietitian, nurse, exercise therapist or other health professionals lead the education sessions, depending on subject matter. The PCN also provides patient assessments; dietary, nursing and psychological counseling; screening for depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); and support to address obesity-related chronic conditions.

Patients referred to the PCN for weight-management issues are typically booked for their first appointment within a month. Patients requiring additional support, including bariatric (weight-loss) surgery, are referred into the Edmonton program. For more information on Edmonton’s adult weight management clinic, visit

AHS is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than 3.7 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

Recognize a volunteer for outstanding service to seniors

Honour a volunteer in your community for their dedication to serving Alberta’s seniors.

Nominations will be accepted for the 14th annual Minister’s Seniors Service Awards until Feb. 28, 2011. Awards will be presented at a special ceremony in Edmonton during Seniors’ Week 2011, from June 6-12.

Nomination packages are available by:

As the MLA for _Edmonton MillWoods, I am always available to assist constituents. If you have any questions or concerns regarding improvements to Alberta’s upstream oil and gas regulatory system, the meningitis immunization program, Weight Wise, the Minister’s Seniors Service Awards, or any other matter, I can be reached in my constituency office at #218; 4128A-97 Street, or in my Legislature office at _(780) 422-9299 or through email at


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